Scribble’s review of Lord of the Flies > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Fabulous. I was wondering what seemed to be "missing" from Hunger Games. I think you've hit the nail on the head.


message 2: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Thanks, Forrest!


message 3: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca High praise coming from you, BB. Thank you.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Thank you for this excellent review. It's the kind of insight I try to come up with when writing reviews but can never put into words. Most recently the idea of a sociopath level antihero came up in a discussion and I was trying to explain the difference between how such a character works in American Psycho and A Clockwork Orange but doesn't in a contemporary fantasy series. Will you write my reviews for me?


message 5: by Scribble (last edited Sep 08, 2012 04:06AM) (new)

Scribble Orca Oh Kelly, you are so sweet. *blushes* Thank you. But I can't write yours because then I'd deprive myself of enjoying what you write!


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Well then I'll just have to toil on by myself. :)


message 7: by Cecily (new)

Cecily I reread this shortly before reading "The Hunger Games", and compared them in my review too - though like you, I concluded that there is no comparison: one has depth and the other has... nothing worth bothering with.


message 8: by Scribble (last edited Sep 17, 2012 07:17AM) (new)

Scribble Orca Yes, actually after re-reading LotF, I find it difficult to understand that HG should be compared with it. King's Running Man and the Mad Max movies would have made more sense (I can't comment on Battle Royale because I don't know of it) but LotF - there was much obvious allegory that is missing from HG.

Oh well - I suppose linking a book with a classic gives it a level of credibility?


message 9: by Helen (new)

Helen Scribble wrote: "Yes, actually after re-reading LotF, I find it difficult that HG should be compared with it. King's Running Man and the Mad Max movies would have made more sense (I can't comment on Battle Royale ..."

I think the link is based solely on "cruelty of kids towards kids in extreme circumstances" part. Completely ignoring the fact that for one it was a part of their world in general and something they were conditioned to, and for the other...


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Yes, too many people take a book at face value rather than looking at the subtext of what it's trying to say. Lolita gets that a lot. I would have thought the subtext in LotF was obvious but I guess not. American Psycho, The Catcher in the Rye, Gulliver's Travels, and A Clockwork Orange are also often misunderstood. Problem why they get banned so frequently.


message 11: by Cecily (last edited Sep 21, 2012 12:24AM) (new)

Cecily Good point, Kelly. I put off Clockwork Orange for many years because it sounded too gratuitously horrible. Then I was persuaded to see the film a few months ago, and immediately after that I read the book. Amazing stuff: yes, it's grotesquely violent in places, but there is so much more to it (lots of profound and worthwhile moral issues) - and the language is wonderful.

Lolita I find more troubling (and I doubt it would be published now, if it weren't already a classic), but I do think it is worth reading.

I haven't read American Psycho, but Catcher and Gulliver shouldn't be on anyone's banned list!


Kelly H. (Maybedog) American Psycho is also very violent and bloody but if you can get through that (and also the first 2-3 chapters because they're kind of boring but for a reason) there's some real brilliance and humor.

Recently a book was published about a man having an affair with one of his high school students. People had to ask him if the main character was supposed to be sympathetic as it was purposely left unclear. Later it turned out that he had been fired from a high school where he worked allegedly for having a relationship with one of his students.


message 13: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Actually, Catcher is so mundane now that for it to continue being on banned lists is ludicrous. I can't cope with the type of violence described in Psycho - I tend to have the same opinion of it as I do of the premise of HG - that the violence in Psycho is gratuitous. Ditto with Clockwork.

Absolutely cannot understand why Gulliver should ever have been banned - agree with you Cecily. And yes - my gut response having not read Lolita for about 30 years is that now being the parent of an 8 year old daughter I'd probably have issues with it.

The issue for me with violence is that its representation is so often allied with a kind of cauterisation of the senses. It's appalling that media present actual violence so casually - and I think that in fiction it becomes more readily acceptable. I don't agree with censorship but how do you draw the line between what I think is gratuitous and what others find insightful?


message 14: by Helen (new)

Helen I hate pornoviolence too. But I wrote a horror story once and though I didn't intend to make it gory, it just...happened. Sometimes, a story wants to be written a certain way. It wasn't too gratuitous, mind you, but I'd still rate it M.

I wonder, have you ever read any naturalist novel?

Though given that the author went on record about the inspiration for Hunger Games, they have no excuse.

Gulliver...well, it has gratuitous bodily waste. I remember being a bit squicked with parts in Laputa. And then there is the part in Brobdingnag with breasts.

But the problem with Gulliver might be that many seem to classify it as literature for children - even though Swift obviously wrote for adults. If they judge it as whether it should be something children should read then I can see why objections come up.


message 15: by Kelly H. (Maybedog) (last edited Sep 21, 2012 01:07AM) (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) Gratuitous means unnecessary. Could the story be told without the violence? Is there more violence then necessary? I can understand not being able to read something really violent. It's really hard and I don't think it's necessary to read things that upset you.

But I don't think either A Clockwork Orange or American Psycho have gratuitous violence. I think they have what is necessary to tell the story and I think both have an important story to tell. The latter doesn't describe every heinous deed in full detail. The author does one it two like that so you understand the horror if what is happening. Then the rest he only shows enough to keep you horrified.

A Clockwork Orange is about the depravity of the human spirit and what our society is leading to if we don't stop this depravity, including our casual attitude towards violence. The problem is that it was written too long ago to have the same effect it once did and even Psycho has lost it's edge because of our callousness towards violence. The world is getting too close to what Burgess was talking about.

I am as disturbed as you by how much violence is not only tolerated but enjoyed in our society. When I see a kid playing those games where they kill very real looking people with blood spattered everywhere, I am beyond horrified. There's nothing but killing, no strategy, no puzzle solving, only killing and gore. And video games are only one arena where we deal with such things.

I don't know how we deal with such things. Banning things would only make them more attractive. Education is always my favorite way but at this point I think it's a losing battle.


message 16: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Helen, I think you're right about Gulliver, though it's a shame that a category error can taint the book.

Kelly, I agree. One thing about the violence in Clockwork Orange is that it's far less graphic in the book, because firstly you don't actually see it, and secondly, the Nadsat slang dilutes the impact (which may or may not be a good thing). It's certainly not a book for the young or easily shocked, but I think it is a wonderfully written book that raises important issues in a powerful and refreshing way.


message 17: by Scribble (last edited Sep 24, 2012 04:30PM) (new)

Scribble Orca Kelly wrote: "Gratuitous means unnecessary. Could the story be told without the violence? Is there more violence then necessary? I can understand not being able to read something really violent. It's really hard...I don't know how we deal with such things. Banning things would only make them more attractive. Education is always my favorite way but at this point I think it's a losing battle."

I don't think depicting violence actually leads to us developing an abhorrence for it. Perhaps referring to violence is better, rather than piling it on (back to the discussion of what is gratuitous for me isn't for you, unfortunately)?

There seems to be a paradoxical twist in our relationship with violence - on the one hand, the more graphical it is, the more we become immune to its effects and allow it to pervade our actions and thoughts. On the other hand, less-than-graphical depictions of anything seem less and less likely to arouse an emotional response in either readers or viewers.

When I was a kid, a boy threw himself out of a window thinking he could fly like Superman....not saying every kid will do this, but equally that kind of reaction isn't isolated. Before we put stuff in the public arena, wouldn't it be a good idea to consider possible consequences and at least indicate the need for either supervision or a health warning (considering we do it with cigarettes and alcohol)?


message 18: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Cecily wrote: "One thing about the violence in Clockwork Orange is that it's far less graphic in the book, because firstly you don't actually see it, and secondly, the Nadsat slang dilutes the impact (which may or may not be a good thing). It's certainly not a book for the young or easily shocked, but I think it is a wonderfully written book that raises important issues in a powerful and refreshing way."

Clockwork does all that - but I can't get past the violence. And I'm sure it attracts readers who miss all that and only want the violence.


message 19: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Helen wrote: "I hate pornoviolence too. But the problem with Gulliver might be that many seem to classify it as literature for children - even though Swift obviously wrote for adults. If they judge it as whether it should be something children should read then I can see why objections come up."

I think this is an interesting point - I read most of Gulliver as a child (my parents didn't really stop me from reading anything except my grandmother's Mills and Boon romance novels or Sidney Sheldon/Jacqueline whatsername/Harold Robbins) and I don't remember the violence in it! But at the same time, I could not read Lord of the Flies at fourteen - by that stage violence was repulsive. We didn't have television (and I still don't) and I'm sure that has played a role in my remaining sensitised to both verbally and visually depicted violence.


message 20: by Helen (new)

Helen Scribble wrote: "Helen wrote: "I hate pornoviolence too. But the problem with Gulliver might be that many seem to classify it as literature for children - even though Swift obviously wrote for adults. If they judge..."

No, Gulliver isn't violent. The remark about violence is addressed to the "is violence necessary or not". Not sure why it appears together in your comment.


message 21: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Helen wrote: "No, Gulliver isn't violent. The remark about violence is addressed to the "is violence necessary or not". Not sure why it appears together in your comment."

Thanks for clearing that up. I put your two comments together because I agree about the porno violence loathing and also that yes, that Swift wrote it for adults, although I think it can be read by younger people.


message 22: by Cecily (last edited Sep 25, 2012 12:26AM) (new)

Cecily Scribble, I think those who enjoy violence might get a thrill from the film of Clockwork Orange, but I doubt they would from the book.

However, I may not be a good judge, because I'm from the opposite end of the spectrum: I get no thrills from violence in any form (I think boxing should be banned!), but I don't automatically shy from it where I think it makes sense for a plot. From that perspective, I really struggled to sit through the film, but had no such problems with the book.


message 23: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Cecily wrote: "Scribble, I think those who enjoy violence might get a thrill from the film of Clockwork Orange, but I doubt they would from the book.

However, I may not be a good judge, because I'm from the oppo..."


I left the film after not even five minutes. It was awful. Like you, no thrills.

I'll give the book a shot again, on your say-so :D.

Funnily enough, I don't think boxing should be banned as a training sport but as a spectator sport, yes. I used to train at both kick-boxing and boxing. It's a definite adrenaline hit (and I'm a junkie) - but my biggest problem was always overcoming the reluctance to swipe anyone. I was lucky enough only to have to box in the ring with the trainer who understood my reticence. I never had to box with someone who might have not had any personal inhibitions of their own.

However, under situations of real attack I tend to fight first and think of running later. Paradoxical.


message 24: by Cecily (last edited Sep 25, 2012 12:39AM) (new)

Cecily Kick boxing may be different. My objection to boxing is not primarily the violence or risk of injury (common in many sports) but the fact that there is the intention to knock someone out, and being knocked out causes brain damage. Only a tiny bit, but add that up... It's one thing being injured as a side-effect, but I don't think it's right for the aim to be to cause injury.

Anyway, I hope that if you do read Clockwork Orange you're not too traumatised by it - I think it does have a worthwhile message (but make sure you have a version that includes the final, twenty-first, chapter, which many US ones don't).


message 25: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Cecily wrote: "Kick boxing may be different. My objection to boxing is not primarily the violence or risk of injury (common in many sports) but the fact that there is the intention to knock someone out, and being..."

Ah, I can understand that objection - although in training that was definitely not the objective! I never competed either, so that wasn't an issue for me. I've always been fascinated by fighting sports which involve skill and prowess rather than sheer bulk - with the exception of sumo wrestling - used to watch it regularly when I lived in Japan.

Thanks for the tip about the chapter - I'd read somewhere I think here on GR about that.


message 26: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Scribble wrote: " I've always been fascinated by fighting sports which involve skill and prowess rather than sheer bulk..."

Have you ever tried out fencing? It's a mega-cool sport.


message 27: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca I did, at uni. But I stopped - they wouldn't let me swap hands (they only used handed foils). I'm ambidextrous :( and I couldn't cope with only using one arm.

I agree - mega-cool sport. I should have given ken-do a shot when I was in Japan...


message 28: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Yeah, i used to enjoy it too, but dropped it when i left uni. I keep promising myself that i'd look up a local fencing club myself, but i just need that extra little kick in the behind to actually do it.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) An extra chapter?? What about? Why? And why not in US copies?


message 30: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca I'm pretty sure there was a stink about the final chapter but I can't remember exactly what it was...I'll google it. And yes, it had to do with censorship in the US from memory.


message 31: by Helen (last edited Sep 28, 2012 07:20AM) (new)

Helen Not censorship - publisher didn't think US audience would like such an ending. So Burgess agreed to cut it. It is fixed in recent prints, though. If the book has 21 chapters, it's okay.

It was still banned here and there, but that's not to do with the chapter.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Good to know. Is it after the boys get rescued?


message 33: by Helen (new)

Helen Kelly wrote: "Good to know. Is it after the boys get rescued?"

Er...the chapter was removed from "A Clockwork Orange", not "Lord of the Flies". That one ends as it does, as far as I know.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) God I was so confused. :) I have been on migraine medicine for the past couple of days. A migraine makes my IQ drop about 20 points. When I take the medicine, my IQ drops another 20 points. So I'm working about 40 points below normal right now. Add in that I'm always rushing and speed reading, well you've got a real imbecile on your hands.

So, if I ever say something dense it's probably because I'm medicated. I would avoid posting when I have a migraine but since I have them about 50% of the time, I'd miss out on everything if I always stopped.

Really, I'm usually smarter than this. :)


message 35: by Helen (new)

Helen Kelly wrote: "God I was so confused. :) I have been on migraine medicine for the past couple of days. A migraine makes my IQ drop about 20 points. When I take the medicine, my IQ drops another 20 points. So I'm ..."

No, it's okay. The conversation did get a bit complicated, with few topics discussed at same time over few days.

I make errors like that too when I lack sleep and am unable to focus.

Hope your migraine gets better soon.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Thank you, Helen. It will. Hopefully before impost something equally confused. And we do all have our moments. :)


message 37: by Mala (new)

Mala The like is for your earlier review. The link that you've provided for the updated version,is not working.


message 38: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Thank you for notifying me, Mala. It should be working, now.


message 39: by Mala (new)

Mala Golding was never known to be a cuddly character- whatever little I know of him ,he was a misanthrope so these revelations are not that surprising really!
If one were to take New Criticism seriously,then writers shd be judged on the basis of their work & not their lives- but that's easier said than done!
I shd be reading your reviews more often :-)


message 40: by Scribble (last edited Dec 03, 2012 01:34AM) (new)

Scribble Orca Thanks, Mala!

My reviews are a bit of a mixed bag...you know, like Dumbledore's bag of multi-flavoured jelly beans :)

I find it very difficult to take New Criticism seriously unless the writer makes a conscious attempt to remain silent about their life and work. Even Anna Kavan who famously disposed of her correspondence and notes left behind the comment that she wanted to be known as the world's best kept secret. Hmmm. Her writing is truly her voice: Ice is a wonderful example. I've recently finished this and am still cogitating over my eventual review.


message 41: by Rakhi (new)

Rakhi Dalal That is quite an analysis Scribble! Loved the way you represented your views. Thanks to Mala that I came across the link and read it! For some reasons I've never been tempted to read this book. But now it goes to my TBR :)


message 42: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Thank you! To be honest, Rakhi, it's a better read than that other drivel against which I've compared it...but I was bitterly disappointed to find out the basis for Golding's writing.

If you really want to read a proper dystopia (as opposed to post-apocalyptic, which is how I would class LOTF) Brave New World is sine qua non and for a delightful YA fantasy realism Fire in the Sea. I'd feel my reviews had more worth if both these books claimed an earlier priority on your TBR shelf :)


message 43: by Rakhi (new)

Rakhi Dalal Scribble wrote: "Thank you! To be honest, Rakhi, it's a better read than that other drivel against which I've compared it...but I was bitterly disappointed to find out the basis for Golding's writing.

If you real..."


Thanks for the recommendation Scribble! I look forward to reading them soon :)


message 44: by Aloha (new)

Aloha Terrific and insightful review, Scribble. I highly recommend Brave New World.


message 45: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Aloha wrote: "Terrific and insightful review, Scribble. I highly recommend Brave New World."

Aloha, I love you. It's on my re-read most favoured status list :D.

Or are you slyly insisting on a review of BNW :P?


message 46: by Aloha (new)

Aloha Yes, I am. I would love to read your analysis of this book. There's a lot in there, but my memory is foggy. I think most people read it in school.


message 47: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Ah, well. I need no excuse to re-read this. And with an incentive like yours, how could I refuse.


message 48: by Aloha (new)

Aloha Thanks, Scribble. I'd like to see why it's your favorite. It would also refresh my memory on the fine points.


message 49: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan I like your review, but to hear that the author had such a background just further reveals the truth of his work to me personally.


message 50: by Scribble (last edited Dec 04, 2012 04:04AM) (new)

Scribble Orca I can't agree with that, Jonathan. A scientist performing any study involving human subjects must undergo strict ethical protocols, which also include how the experiment is set up in terms of bias etc. Golding simply used the classroom to first create a scenario and then manipulate emotions. There is nothing in this that demonstrates truth so much as pre-determined outcome. Worse, he was subject to no ethical constraints - much as any artist is not subject to ethical constraints in the pursuit of art where he/she can manipulate without the knowledge of those who may form the artist's rendition of a personal experience as a universal truth. There is no basis for expecting it of science and not of art.


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