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Lord of the Flies

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A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blues seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys' delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance.

225 pages, Paperback

First published September 17, 1954

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About the author

William Golding

151 books3,684 followers
People note British writer Sir William Gerald Golding for his dark novels, especially The Lord of the Flies (1954); he won the Nobel Prize of 1983 for literature.

People best know this British novelist, poet, and playwright for this novel. Golding spent two years, focusing on sciences, in Oxford but changed his educational emphasis to English, especially Anglo-Saxon, literature.

During World War II, he served as part of the royal Navy, which he left five years later. This experience strongly influenced his future novels. Later, he taught and focused on writing. Classical Greek literature, such as that of Euripides, and The Battle of Maldon , an Anglo-Saxon oeuvre of unknown author influenced him.

College students in the 1950s and 1960s gave the attention to Lord of the Flies, first novel of Golding; their attention drove that of literary critics. He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage , the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth. He received knighthood in 1988.

In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 51,014 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,963 reviews294k followers
May 17, 2019
Kids are evil. Don't you know?

I've just finished rereading this book for my book club but, to be honest, I've liked it ever since my class were made to read it in high school. Overall, Lord of the Flies doesn't seem to be very popular, but I've always liked the almost Hobbesian look at the state of nature and how humanity behaves when left alone without societal rules and structures. Make the characters all angel-faced kids with sadistic sides to their personality and what do you have? Just your average high school drama, but set on a desert island. With a bit more bloody murder. But not that much more.

In 1954, when this book was published, Britain was in the process of being forced to face some harsh realities that it had blissfully chosen to ignore beforehand - that it is not, in fact, the centre of the universe, and the British Empire was not a thing of national pride, but an embarrassing infringement on the freedom and rights of other human beings. Much of British colonialism had been justified as a self-righteous mission to educate and modernise foreign "savages". So when put into its historical context, alongside the decolonisation movements, this book could be said to be an interesting deconstruction of white, Western supremacy.

Of course, to a modern reader there's a lot of racism in this book. The racial aspect is a big factor. Golding establishes from the very first page that Ralph is a perfect white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, private school boy. And Piggy even asks "Which is better - to be a pack of painted n*****s like you are or to be sensible like Ralph is?" I'm not going to argue with anyone's interpretation, but I think there is actually room to see this book as a criticism of racism. For me, I always saw it as Golding challenging the notion of savages being dark-skinned, uneducated people from rural areas. With this book, he says screw that, I'll show you savages! and proceeds to show us how these private school silver spoon little jewels of the empire are no better for their fancy education and gold-plated upbringing.

I think that seemed especially clear from the ending when the officer says "I should have thought that a pack of British boys - you're all British, aren't you? - would have been able to put up a better show than that." Golding's way of saying that human nature is universal and no one can escape it.

Some readers say that you have to have quite a negative view of human nature already to appreciate this book, but I don't think that's true. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with all the implications running around in the novel - namely, the failure of democracy and the pro-authority stance - but it serves as an interesting look at the dark side of human nature and how no one is beyond its reach. Plus, anyone who had a bit of a rough time in high school will probably not find the events in this book a huge leap of the imagination.

The fascinating thing about Lord of the Flies is the way many historical parallels can be drawn from the messages it carries. You could choose to view the charismatic and manipulative Jack Merridew as a kind of Hitler (or other dictator) who takes advantage of a group of people at their weakest. Dictators and radicals often find it easy to slip in when a society is in chaos... we do not have to assume that Golding believed that everyone everywhere is evil, only that we all have the capacity for it when we find ourselves in unstable situations.

Still a fascinating book after all these years.

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12 reviews55 followers
September 28, 2007
I read this book a long time ago, long enough to where I barely remembered anything past the basic premise. So I picked it up again, only to wish I hadn't. There's a reason why they teach this book in middle school--in order to enjoy this book, one's intellectual cognizance must be that of a child, because otherwise you'll spend the entire time picking out everything that's wrong with the book. And there's a lot to pick out.

From what little of the story that is actually coherent, I can see why this book has had a lasting effect on social commentary since it's initial publishing. The overlying illustration of how easily man can devolve back to his feral instincts is striking, yet could have been infinitesimally more effective in the hands of a decent writer.

See, I would have cared a bit more about the little island society of prepubescent boys and their descent into barbarism if you know, any of the characters had been developed AT ALL. Instead, we're thrown interchangeable names of interchangeable boys who are only developed enough to conform to the basic archetypes Golding requires to hobble his little story along: The Leader, The Rebel, The Fat-Kid, The Nose-Picker, etc. Were he born in this time, I believe Golding would have done brilliantly as a scriptwriter for reality TV.

And the plot? There's a plot? I'm guessing so, since things seem to happen, but it's kind of hard to tell since he spends pages describing irrelevant events that are never incorporated, characters that possibly exist yet probably don't, and using words that don't mean what he thinks they mean. And as the main characters are a bunch of kids not worth caring about, thus goes the way of the story.

And the prose? Dear God, the prose! Get it away! It burns us!

So yeah, this book sucked. It had potential. There were even a few parts I internally squealed at in hopeful anticipation. But whatever potential it did have was hopelessly squandered by a man who wrote like he'd never written anything before in his life. Don't waste your time.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
402 reviews3,522 followers
March 4, 2023
A group of boys are stranded on a remote and deserted island. How will these boys fare away from grownups, away from society, away from rules?

Written in 1954, The Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding is considered a classic. The symbolism in this book is unreal especially if you consider the colors mentioned in the book (pink was mentioned 40 times). Like most people, I read this in high school, and I got a lot more out of it as an adult. At the very end, I now ponder if that actually happened or if Ralph was just imagining it (trying to avoid any spoilers here). The author who is deceased now has stated that the book can mean whatever you want it to mean so clearly everything in this review is absolutely true. If you want to check out more of my thoughts and questions raised for this book, please check out the Readalong. Thank you to everyone who participated and made this reading so much better than my first!

Although this book goes down as a classic, it is rather bleak—there is very little hope or anything that can be considered uplifting. There were too many boring descriptions of the scar (more than 20+ times) and sand (more than 70+ times). As for the audiobook through Audible, William Golding, the author, is reading the book. He sounds extremely bored. I do not recommend the Audible version.

Overall, I wish that I hadn’t read this as a child. It traumatized me, and I wasn’t ready for it. There is too much violence and ill will in this. Every time I would pick up a book, I would think about Piggy and feel darkness. However, as an adult, perhaps I was more prepared knowing the ending, but I also developed the sophistication to appreciation the subtleties of this book.

This book is listed as one of the 100 Books to Read According to the BBC:

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
August 19, 2018
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

For me, this quote sums up the entire book. It’s a powerful exploration of humanity and the wrongness of our society and it also demonstrates the hypocrisy of war. Adults judge the behaviour of children, but are they really any better? I think not.

The scary thing about this book is how real it is. The Lord of the Flies bespeaks the brilliance of realistic dystopian fiction, it gives you a possible world scenario, a bunch of very human characters and then it shows you want might happen when they are thrown into a terrible situation: they act like monsters (or humans?) What Golding shows us is that we are not so far from our primal nature, from our so called killer instincts, and all it takes is a little push out of the standard world we live in for us to embrace our darker side.

The boys act in accordance with what they have seen in the world (though they don’t understand limits.) Power creates authority and violence is a way to achieve the peace you want. Sort of ironic isn’t it? They go to war amongst themselves and in doing so lose all sense of childhood innocence. They grow up. They learn what humans are capable of doing when pushed. They become ‘savages’ and reject civilisation and create their own sense of community, though in another display of irony this in itself becomes a mini-civilisation- just a one of their own accord without any rules and a nasty child tyrant enthroned as chief.

“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”

The novel is rich in allegory to the point where it has been interpreted in so many different ways over the years. Like all great literature, it could mean lots of things and nothing at all. It’s a very clever piece of writing and it got me thinking a great deal about children and how we protect them from the realities of the world. It sort of says something to me, a quiet acknowledgement about how messed up things can be given the right circumstances and these children are so very quick to embrace it with unflinching enthusiasm (at least, when one of them leads the way.)

It’s a good book with a lot of ideas though at times I found the prose a little hard to follow. The dialogue is confusing at times and many of the children fade into the background with only a small few developing distinct personalities. I found the first part of the story particularly difficult to read, so in terms of the actual execution I think it could have been done a little better. I found myself wanting to edit sections of the text, which is not a place a reader should ever be in especially with a novel this revered by so many enthusiastic readers, critics and students. Maybe I’m just a little picky with word placement.

Overall though, I’m glad I spent the time to revisit it. There are so many pop-culture references to this that a reminder was needed.
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
971 reviews17.6k followers
June 3, 2023
The year 1954 saw the first publication of Golding’s masterwork, the point of which had (independently) bifurcated my personality in that same year - in a series of ironic inner game-changing events...

Piggy and his upper-class schoolmates are marooned on a remote wild island. But left without adults, they quickly descend, like some of our leaders, into draconian martial violence - the powerful and strong versus the poor and weak (shades of Animal Farm?).

And I myself nearly became a Piggy.

January, 1954 saw the personal event that changed that transition forever.

You see, for 66 years I have lived my life in a perpetual rerun of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. And my moral values - though, praise God, not my Political ones - are so utterly and ironically shared with those of that McCarthyist year, 1954.

I’m a Photographic Time Warp copy, in fact.

It all started on a crisp, clear January morning in 1954...

My colicky and irascible brother had come into the world ten months earlier - like me, he would have preferred to stay Close to my Mom forever, bless him. But - I had also around the time of his birth found my parents in an embarrassingly intimate act. I had been barely three.

And the day our car crashed on the Michigan Freeway when I was two was the origin...

That event had upset my psychological Apple Cart.

My Eden had vanished. And soon I was no longer the sole beneficiary of my parent's love. With the appearance of those twin sources of trauma, I became moody and withdrawn. And fell into entropy. Corporal punishment was administered, more and more frequently.

Yes, the Absurd split my life in two with those events - through no fault of. my parents - and a lifetime split resulted. Under that fractious stress, I retreated into the safe haven of Autism.

All because of my parents tried to love their children equally.

Kids can be so weird.

But by January 1954 my parents had seen enough of my inner ethical turmoil. They wanted to shore up my confidence. They bought me a popular 45 rpm record, whose flip side contained a ‘fun’ song about a “Number One Son�� who must be taught to not his “Troubles tell, for Life is to Enjoy.”

Their unsparing love had been replaced by an Ideological Life Hack, that I took for my own, just as a drowning man will hang for dear life onto a Brass Ring on a ship’s hold. A four-year-old needs a foundation for his values in the absence of primary love.

Yes, you guessed it: it was a substitute; an ideal false self. But thankfully, it made my Christian faith possible, and that endured.

But that Brass Ring, which gave me a traumatically Impossible ideal to live up to in order to be a Number One Son in their eyes, was psychologically destructive...

And its inner violent duality was at the heart of my psychological collapse in 1970 - it was the Perfect Storm: autistic, sheltered 1950's kid meets his violently postmodern climacteric - coming of age!

BUT - its mature, adult worldview was always ALL that stood against me - and the moral entropy and outright violence of a Piggy, towards whose personality I had been drifting by the age of four.

So WHAT if it turned me into a slightly funny lifetime Aspie and hence victim of all the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

My utter MORAL collapse was averted.

I maintained my values intact.

And for that, in my view, my parents and siblings deserve ALL THE CREDIT.
Profile Image for Adina ( On hiatus until next week) .
827 reviews3,240 followers
January 25, 2021
Edit: A friend send me this article of a real situation where a group of kids were left stranded on an island for 15 months. Spoiler alert, the Lord of The Flies scenario never happened, the boys behaved and organized themselves wonderfully

.Maybe,” he said hesitantly, “maybe there is a beast.” “What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us.”.

That quote sums up very well the idea of this modern classic. I ran away from this novel for years but it finally caught up with me or I tripped, who knows? It was a lot more interesting than I expected and it was worth my time but I would not say I loved it.

During some sort of war, a plane crashes on an island and the only survivors are a bunch of kids. Forced to stay alive without the guidance and surveillance of adults some start to behave crazy and cruel. I guess the morale is that people are civilized because there are rules that are reinforced and if the society gets rid of them some of use will return to our animal state or worse.

While I admit that the story is thought-provoking and a classic, a pioneer of the subject, I cannot say I enjoyed reading it too much. Not much happens for most of the book and when it does it feels rushed. Also, the author spent a lot more time describing the nature than the characters or their experience. I had problems distinguishing between the children and I did not manage to form a strong opinion either about the positive characters or the negative ones. Finally, I think it did not age well, it is hard to explain why I have this impression.

I both listened to and read Lord of The Flies. While listening I got lost in the descriptions (read bored) so I thought the written version was more suitable for this story.
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews769 followers
October 26, 2008
Lord of the Flies is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read. It was required high school reading and since then, I've read it four more times. It is as disturbing now as it was then. Using a group of innocent schoolboys stranded on an island, the author very realistically portrays human behavior in an environment where civilization no longer has meaning.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 8, 2021
(Book 508 from 1001 books) . Lord of the flies, William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

In the midst of a wartime evacuation, a British aeroplane crashes on or near an isolated island in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. Two boys—the fair-haired Ralph and an overweight, bespectacled boy nicknamed "Piggy"—find a conch, which Ralph uses as a horn to convene all the survivors to one area.

Ralph is optimistic, believing that grownups will come to rescue them but Piggy realises the need to organise ("put first things first and act proper").

Because Ralph appears responsible for bringing all the survivors together, he immediately commands some authority over the other boys and is quickly elected their "chief".

He does not receive the votes of the members of a boys' choir, led by the red-headed Jack Merridew, although he allows the choir boys to form a separate clique of hunters.

Ralph establishes three primary policies: to have fun, to survive, and to constantly maintain a smoke signal that could alert passing ships to their presence on the island and thus rescue them. The boys establish a form of democracy by declaring that whoever holds the conch shall also be able to speak at their formal gatherings and receive the attentive silence of the larger group.

Jack organises his choir into a hunting party responsible for discovering a food source. Ralph, Jack, and a quiet, dreamy boy named Simon soon form a loose triumvirate of leaders with Ralph as the ultimate authority.

Upon inspection of the island, the three determine that it has fruit and wild pigs for food. The boys also use Piggy's glasses to create a fire. Although he is Ralph's only real confidant, Piggy is quickly made into an outcast by his fellow "biguns" (older boys) and becomes the butt of the other boys' jokes. Simon, in addition to supervising the project of constructing shelters, feels an instinctive need to protect the "littluns" (younger boys).

The semblance of order quickly deteriorates as the majority of the boys turn idle; they give little aid in building shelters, spend their time having fun and begin to develop paranoias about the island. The central paranoia refers to a supposed monster they call the "beast", which they all slowly begin to believe exists on the island.

Ralph insists that no such beast exists, but Jack, who has started a power struggle with Ralph, gains a level of control over the group by boldly promising to kill the creature. At one point, Jack summons all of his hunters to hunt down a wild pig, drawing away those assigned to maintain the signal fire.

A ship travels by the island, but without the boys' smoke signal to alert the ship's crew, the vessel continues without stopping. Ralph angrily confronts Jack about his failure to maintain the signal; in frustration Jack assaults Piggy, breaking one of the lenses of his glasses.

The boys subsequently enjoy their first feast. Angered by the failure of the boys to attract potential rescuers, Ralph considers relinquishing his position as leader, but is persuaded not to do so by Piggy, who both understands Ralph's importance and fears what will become of him should Jack take total control. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «سالار مگس ها»؛ «خداوندگار مگسها»؛ «بعل زبوب»؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ (بهجت، ابتکار، افراشته، آپادانا، ابر سفید، رهنما، امیرکبیر)؛ ادبیات انگلستان؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و پنجم ماه اکتبر سال 2012میلادی

عنوان: سالار مگس ها ؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم: حمید رفیعی؛ تهران، بهجت، 1353، در 372ص؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ شابک 9646671918؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

عنوان: بعل زبوب ؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم: محمود مشرف آزاد (م آزاد)؛ تهران، ابتکار، 1363، در 270ص؛

عنوان: سالار مگس ها ؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم: رضا دیداری؛ تهران، افراشته، 1363؛ در 282ص؛

عنوان: سالار مگس ها؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم: سوسن اردکانی (شاهین)؛ تهران، آپادانا، 1363؛ در 336ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ابر سفید، 1390، در 327ص؛ شابک 9786009254552؛

عنوان: سالار مگسها؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم مژگان منصوری؛ تهران، پرگل، 1379؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، رهنما، 1382؛ در 443ص؛ شابک 9643670937؛ چاپ دیگر 1385؛ چاپ بعدی 1388؛ شابک 9789643670931؛

عنوان: خداوندگار مگس ها؛ نویسنده: سر ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم: جواد پیمان؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، چاپ دوم 1395؛ در 287ص؛ شابک 9789640018743؛

عنوان: سالار مگس‌ها؛ ویلیام گلدینگ؛ مترجم ناهید شهبازی‌مقدم؛ تهران، آموت 1396؛ در 317ص؛ شابک 9786003840317؛

از جمله آثار برجسته ی کلاسیک جهان، که «ویلیام گلدینگ» در آن؛ شور و هیجان خویش را در یک قصه ی تمثیلی، با قدرت و صداقت توصیف کرده، داستان ماجرای شگفت آور گروهی پسر بچه است، در مدرسه ای «انگلیسی»، که در طی جنگ هسته ای و خانمانسوز، عازم منطقه ای امن میشوند؛ ولی سقوط هواپیما، آنها را ملزم به اقامت در جزیره ای استوایی میکند؛ در آغاز، همه چیز به خوبی پیش میرود، و آنها بی دغدغه و سبکبال، جزیره ی خوش آب و رنگ و سرسبز را، درمینوردند؛ اما اندک زمانی، پس از آن، شرارت و تندخویی پسرها، بهشت زمینی را، به دوزخی از آتش و خون، مبدل میکند، و تمامی مظاهر خرد و پاک اندیشی، از وجودشان رخت برمیبندد؛ کشمکش درونی نیروهای متضاد خیر و شر، درون مایه ی داستان را شکل میدهند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 22/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
855 reviews5,894 followers
July 24, 2022
This book will forever haunt me and be forever intertwined with my freshman year of high school. Its a great book for a classroom and was where I was first taught symbolism in a way that really stood out to me. This book is so rich in literary devices I remember it being the first moment where I realized the art of reading and writing as something far beyond storytelling and how much careful craft brings a work to life. I was hooked, I think from that moment on I had it in my mind that to be someone who analyzes literature was a rock-star type vocation to me. But I will also never forget the way it was taught. Our teacher, who I remain close friends with to this day, had us play a simulation for two days where we were in the same situation as the kids in the book (before we began the book) and had to discuss and plan how to organize our lives to survive on this island. Think Model UN but for Lord of the Flies.

Reader: it was chaos. Everyone made bad deals or broke deals finding it funny to screw people over, multiple people clamored over who was in charge, people such as myself bounced from group to group doing devious deals or gossiping about what other groups were doing (I have always been a gossip queen), and by the second day we were all shouting at each other and feeling like we had somehow been so bad at this game that the teacher would never have his class play it again. Which, at that age, is sort of a mark of pride to some and so once the chaos began those few gleefully pushed for more chaos. Our teacher never interjected, only watched from afar while grading our exams from the previous week--a brilliant time management idea I've come to realize.

Finally our teacher stepped in. We eagerly awaited hearing we were terrible at this and fully destroyed the purpose of it, only to hear that this was what happened almost every single year. And then we read the book, which felt like looking into a mirror. Chilling moment to be confronted with yourself that way. He did this game every year until he retired, it's quite often cited as a favorite memory from high school for those who were there.
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
May 18, 2021

لا أظن أحدا درس الإنجليزية ولم يسمع على الأقل بهذه الرواية
كنتُ في عامي الرابع وقت دراستها
ومن أول وهلة جذبتني
وبينما كان زملائي يهتمون بما سيأتي منها في الامتحان
كنت أنا ألتهمها التهاما‏

أثر في حديث رأس الخنزير مع سايمون كثيرا
كنت وقتها في العشرين ولا أظنني قرأت حوارات كهذه من قبل
‏ كنت أرى المشهد أمامي متجسدا
ولا أعلم الآن هل ذلك بسبب براعة الكاتب أم شدة تأثري‏
ذلك أنني لم أعد قراءتها مجددا


تحدث فرويد قبل وفاته بقليل عن الغريزة التدميرية في البشر
‏ عن حب الإنسان للقتل والعنف والدمار‏
والرواية صورة مصغرة لذلك المجتمع البشري
الذي يترنح‏ ما بين الفطرية والبدائية، والتمدن والتحضر

يجد أطفال ما بين الثامنة والثانية عشر أنفسهم في الطبيعة‏
بمعزل تام عن قوانين الكبار
وبالطبع يكون همهم الأول هو البقاء على قيد الحياة

راح المؤلف يستخرج خبايا النفس البشرية بإظهار وحشيتها وقابليتها للشر
متناولا صراع الانسان الأبدي بين الغريزة والسلوكيات المدنية المكتسبة ‏

‏(لقد شارك جولدنغ نفسه في الحرب العالمية الثانية كضابط في البحرية البريطانية
واشترك في معركة إغراق أقوى بارجة ألمانية -بسمارك )‏

يفترض جولدنج اندلاع حرب تتعرض فيه انجلترا لضربة نووية
ويفترض وجود طائرة انجليزية قامت بإجلاء مجموعة من الفتية إلى خارج ‏البلاد
(بهدف لإنقاذ حياتهم والحفاظ على النسل الانجليزي من الاندثار‎)

وعندما تسقط تلك الطائرة فوق جزيرة نائية
ينجو الأطفال فقط
ويقتل الطيار اثناء محاولته النجاة بالمظلة

يبدأ هؤلاء الصبية ببناء مجتمعهم الجديد (المصغر) ‏
ويدور الصراع بين السلطة المدنية المتمثلة في رالف‏
والمعارضة المسلحة (السلطة العسكرية) المتمثلة في جاك‏
‏ ‏
‏-وفوق كل ذلك فنحن لسنا همجيين، لأننا إنجليز، والإنجليز هم أفضل الناس في جميع ‏

دائما ما تنقلب تلك النظرة الاستعلائية الشوفينية على أصحابها في كل زمان ومكان
‏ لقد تحول الأطفال إلى مسوخ همجية تستلذ القتل والعنف‏
ينقلب مجتمعهم الصغير إلى مجتمع وحشي همجي ‏

رالف هو الشخصية المحورية في الرواية
تعطيه وسامته سمة استعلاء ‏
وكعادة الرفاق يسخر من بيجي بسذاجته الطيبة
رالف يبدو مثالي المظهر لكنه يعوزه الذكاء ‏
هذا الذكاء يعوضه بيجي (وهو إسم تدليل يعني الخنزير الصغير)‏

بيجي هو ذلك الطفل السمين الطيب الظريف ‏
‏-شخصيتي المفضلة رقم 2- ‏
الذكي برغم سذاجته في تعامله مع رفاقه ‏
بالإضافة إلى إصابته بالربو وقصر النظر الحاد

وبنباهته يقترح على رالف استخدام الصدفة (بدلالاتها الرمزية) وتحويلها إلى بوق بصفيره يستطيع ‏عقد الاجتماعات
ومن ثم اعتبرها الجميع رمز السيطرة والحكم_ ومن يحملها هو فقط من يستطيع التحدث
كما أن بيجي هو من استخدام نظارته- بإيعاز من رالف الساخر- لتكثيف أشعة الشمس وذلك لإشعال ‏النار ‏

بيجي هو صوت العقلانية المكروه من الغالبية ‏
ويعتبره البعض رمزا لطبقة المفكرين والمثقفين ‏
الذين لا تستمع إليهم الدول المستبدة ‏
بل تحاول بشراسة القضاء عليهم

جاك يتسم بالدموية والوحشية من البداية
وهو يؤمن بالقوة ويتلذذ بالدماء
الأحداث تتسارع في الصراع ما بين قوة المنطق ومنطق القوة
وجاك يقوم بانقلاب عسكري يطيح به برالف وتصير له الغلبة
‏(ربما أراد جولدينج أن يشير إلى أن الهيمنة واليد العليا دوما تكون ‏للاأخلاقيين والدمويين)‏‎

حتى ذلك اليوم الذي يرى فيه الأطفال من بعيد جثة الطيار مع مظلته على أحد الجبال فيظن الجميع ‏أنه وحش الغابة
فيصطاد جاك خنزيرا بريا يقطع رأسه وينصبه على رمح في أعلى قمة الجبل كرمز لقوة فريقه
ويبدأ الاحتفال بهذه المناسبة بشعائر كطقوس للصيد ‏
يطلي الأطفال وجوههم بدم الخنزير المذبوح متحولين إلى برابرة‏

وفي ظل هذا الجو المشبع خوفا وقهرا وعويل بربري يضل سايمون طريقه‏
فيجد نفسه أمام رأس الخنزير المعلق الحائم من كان حوله الذباب (سيد الذباب) ‏
وهنا يبدأ سايمون في الهذيان (أفضل وأقسى مشاهد الرواية)‏
ليدور الحديث بينه وبين سيد الذباب الذي يسخر منه ومن أمله في الخلاص وفي صلاح الأحوال‏

وهكذا لم يأت الشر بفعل الوحوش ‏
بل من البشر أنفسهم

الرواية تستحق القراءة بكل تأكيد
كما ان هناك أكثر من فيلم يحكي قصتها
وإن لم أشاهد اي منهم حتى الآن

ولكنها حالة مختلفة لن أستطيع نسيانها
Profile Image for Mk.
181 reviews
March 7, 2008
I hated this book. First off, as I remember, it talks about humans failure to govern ourselves, or more broadly the failures of human nature. There are a few reasons why I think simply dropping a group of kids on a desert island does not in fact prove anything.

1) These kids were raised in a capitalist, nominally demcratic society. The first thing they do is appoint leaders. As someone who spends my time working in consensus based groups seeking to challenge hierarchical structures, I have a strong belief that this is not how things need to be. It takes a bunch of unlearning and relearning to use these formats - simply being in a new space or being a child does not do this work. The author and the children he writes about are a part of a specific culture, and it's incorrect to generalize these values to a broader concept of human nature.

2) They're all boys! Again, socialization (yes, even of a 6 year old) plays a huge role in what behavior we see as appropriate. While it's quite true that men (or at least masculinity) control government, it's ridiculous to use only boys to extrapolate what ways of governing ourselves are possible.

I read this book in 1996 when I was a freshman in highschool, so maybe there's something I missed. Or maybe my memories are being colored by just how gross the pig's head descriptions were. If so, feel free to correct me. For now though, I have to say that this book is offensive and makes dangerous assumption.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,118 reviews3,972 followers
April 1, 2021
A hard book to rate as although its well written and is very thought provoking, the content gets unpleasantly graphic and some aspects are awkwardly dated (eg the assumption the British boys should be jolly good chaps - “we’re not savages, we’re English”).


It starts off as a conventional adventure: a mixed group of boys (some know each other; many who don’t) survive a plane crash on a desert island and struggle to survive. It is somewhat confused and confusing at first – perhaps to make the reader empathise with the boys’ confusion.

From the outset there are issues of priorities (Jack’s instant gratification of hunting or Ralph’s long term need for shelter and maintaining a fire signal) and leadership. It’s inevitable that standards of “civilization” will slip.

There is also an infectious fear of “the beast”, although whether one interprets it as animal, airman, hallucination, or symbolic may vary at different points in the story. Certainly the tone of the book changes after Simon’s first encounter with Lord of the Flies.

Image: Teaching Lord of the Flies, by The Jenkins Comic (Source)

Group Dynamics

Eventually the boys split into two groups: hunters who become ever more “savage” in appearance and behaviour, and the remainder who want to retain order, safety, common sense – and their lives. Why do the obedient and angelic choir turn to savagery - does the fact they have an identified leader, who isn't the overall leader once they're on the island, contribute? One also wonders how the story might be different if it was a mixed sex group, or even an all girl group. Very different, certainly, and I suppose it would provide a distraction to what Golding was trying to say about human (or just male?) nature.

It illustrates how petty bullying can be condoned and encouraged within groups (exacerbated by rituals, chanting, body markings etc) and how it can escalate to much worse. Nevertheless, one of the main victims, Piggy, is proud of his differences, demonstrates knowledge and intelligence and actually grows in confidence as his leader loses his.

Milgran, Zimbardo, Christianity...

It questions whether it is power or the environment that makes some of the boys so bad (echoes of Zimbardo’s prison experiments and Milgram’s obedience experiments - if a book can echo things which came after it was written).

In fact, Golding "experimented, while a teacher at a public school, with setting boys against one another in the manner of Lord of the Flies"! See HERE (thanks Matt).

The more Christian concept of original sin runs through it, which was probably Golding's intention (his editor made him make Simon less Jesus-like), along with other Christian analogies relating to snakes, devils (aka Lord of the Flies), self sacrifice, and redemption/rescue.

And then there are the conch and fire as symbols of order and god, respectively, in total contrast to the warpaint etc of the warriors.

Lots to think about, but more the stuff of nightmares than dreams.

Compared with The Hunger Games

It's interesting to compare this with The Hunger Games, which modern teens probably find much easier to relate to (see my review HERE). I think one problem Lord of the Flies has is that the period is tricky: too far from the present to seem "relevant" (though I think it is), but not long enough ago to be properly historical.

Compared with I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

For another dysfunctional group trying to survive a very different ordeal, see Harlan Ellison's horrific short story about an evil supercomputer, which I reviewed HERE.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
795 reviews3,624 followers
January 16, 2022
Without what the author intended to do or probably has done, it would be a 3 star, but so 1 star is the only option.

Of course, it´s completely natural to become primitive again within the shortest amounts of time, and not an unintended dark comedy, self satirizing, biased, sexual predator of an author, who finally deus ex machinas out of this mess.

„In a private journal and in a memoir for his wife, Golding said he tried to rape a 15-year-old girl when he was 18 and on his first holiday from Oxford“

„He had met her when both were taking music lessons in Marlborough, Wiltshire, when he was about 16 and she was 13, but he tried to rape her two years later when he was home during his first year at Oxford.
Golding writes that they went for a walk to the common and he 'felt sure she wanted heavy sex, as this was visibly written on her pert, ripe and desirable mouth'.
Soon they were 'wrestling like enemies' as he 'tried unhandily to rape her'.
She resisted and Golding, years later, wrote that 'he had made such a bad hand at rape' before shaking her and shouting 'I’m not going to hurt you'.“
„A later girlfriend, Mollie, was also treated badly by Golding.
She was another local from Marlborough whom he later let down by breaking off their engagement because he had found her frigid.“

„The attempted rape involved a Marlborough girl, named Dora, who had taken piano lessons with Golding. It happened when he was 18 and on holiday during his first year at Oxford. Carey quotes the memoir as partially excusing the attempted rape on the grounds that Dora was "depraved by nature" and, at 14, was "already sexy as an ape". It reveals that Golding told his wife he had been sure the girl "wanted heavy sex". She fought him off and ran away as he stood there shouting: "I'm not going to hurt you," the memoir said.“

„Golding, who won the Nobel Prize in 1983, three years after bagging the Booker for Rites Of Passage, admitted trying to rape a 15-year-old schoolgirl when he was an 18-year-old student at Oxford, according to a forthcoming biography by John Carey.
The schoolgirl put up a fierce resistance. But they had sex two years later, according to Golding, who nevertheless called her “depraved by nature” and “sexy as an ape” in his unpublished memoir, Men, Women & Now. He wrote it for Ann, his wife of 50 years, to explain his “monstrous” character.“


Fringe philosophy
Downgrading and unintended satirizing of kids´ language from an adult´s perspective to seem capable of writing empathic and emotional, tragic-comic dialogues and characters is a cheap trick that fails epically, if not performed right. But it´s the logical consequence of making kids act as if they were stupid animals to integrate a biased, boring, and one sided plot. If you want real philosophy on an island, read:

More bad philosophy on an island, read:
This one has everything, racism, glorifying religious extremism, a true, clear picture of our past.

Back to the show, as it´s often the problem with monopolies, the ones in art lead to overrated, hyped, and simply not good wanna be philosophical constructions. I mean, symbolic, metaphysical, allegory metaphor overload for young people who want to be entertained? Honestly? „Don´t try to murder each other kids.“ What a lesson! Of course, kids are so stupid that they immediately establish cultic dictatorships if they are not supervised, what else should logically happen.

If this wouldn´t be a typical forced read to torture school kids and a kind of pre pop psychology Nobel Prize higher literature with meaning drivel, I would say it´s barely average, but because of its excessive misuse, it´s just unacceptable. Possibly the ever so clever bureaucrats of the boards of education all over the world ought think a second about removing all the trash of all the lauded, boring, outdated, obsolete,… literature each country tends to accumulate in a strange mixture of patriotism, cultural imperialism (our writers, literature, tradition) and think about including the great, amazing, wonderful worlds of literature kids and young adults want to read.

The worst classic I´ve ever read
One extra star up to 2 could have been given for incompetently trying to be deep, philosophical, and critical and failing to transport the important message about the evil lurking in naked apes. Nice try, William, but just an epic fail, and total bigotry regarding your alcohol and abuse problems you loved to drivel about in your strange diaries of a molester.
I was really searching for deeper meaning, any of all the arguments seen in positive reviews, but it´s just unrealistic, the ending is a bad joke, putting as much symbolism and innuendos in it to camouflage the immense flaws doesn´t really help, and it just fuels my opinion that, just as in real life, much of what is idealized and glorified is just bad and rotten. Look at the ratings of Golding´s other books, rated by people who like to read classics! Another achievement in inability.

I know, there are many getting real pleasure out of classic literature, that´s a question of taste and I don´t force them to read my trivial literature. That´s where the tolerance ends, because the problem is that the previously mentioned kids, teens, and young adults don´t deserve to be bored with what elder generations may really enjoy, but has absolutely no worth for them. I did once make the mistake of reading a few dozen classics and most were just average, some really bad, but definitively close to none great. It´s sad, avoidable, and just plain anachronistic to violently keep extremely outdated versions of descriptions of long away pasts in the curriculum and the main reason kids and teens hate to read.

Irony time, there would be old, classic, clever books that could really tell something about human nature, not using placative over the top violence, especially in the classic and new sci-fi and social-sci-fi genre that explore many questions regarding human nature, state, politics, sexuality, economics, faith, but, they would be too extreme, progressive, and subtle. Cause bigoted conservatives don´t want their kids to read really dangerous, meta context, social criticism, stuff, they want some characters far away from any real, imminent problems playing hide and seek with a freaking pigs´ head.

It truly left me speechless, just asking why, what´s wrong with you, humanities, literary critique, Nobel prize, quality literature, higher art, snobs, modern art, don´t you realize that you are satirizing yourself by praising so many works that many avid, lifelong readers, with k reading scores deem bad, arrogant, boring, and worthless? Reminiscences of a past when bigoted, unenlightened people celebrated any trash that could distract from their incredible cognitive biases. It at least also lets me imagine a purgatory library filled with this stuff and dark angels forcing me to read it until I become insane, repair my brain, and restart the process. Forever. Mwahahaha!

Trying to find an explanation, a combination of personal drivel with the biography of a disturbed mind
The author had issues, binge drinking and alcoholism were demons haunting him, and he did exactly write this one thing that made him famous and nothing else of importance. What makes one more disgusted is the fact that he, as mentioned, tried to rape a 15 year old girl when he was 18 (how often has he been successful and didn´t write about it, because he was so completely wasted and drunk that he wouldn´t even remember it?), a reason he should at least be retrospectively condemned, as retroactive, time travel castration isn´t really an option. That´s one of the crime areas where I distance myself from restorative justice and go full metal eye for an eye, archaic retributive justice, because I am of the opinion that sex offenders should be incarcerated under terrible conditions, life imprisonment without any chance to ever see the light of the day again (and this rehabilitation thing is complete, psychologic, psychiatric (2 other partly fringe science the humanities unleashed on humanity like a plague) nonsense. Nobody would try to „cure“ someone who is heterosexual, homosexual, or has a different gender identity than physical body, because that´s completely crazy. But hey, someone who is born (seen in babies) or made a pedophile, rapist, necrophile, etc. can of course be healed. And, another very important factor, it´s cheaper for the state to release serial sex killers to save some money and wait if it takes them weeks or months until the next victim is tortured, raped, and eaten. How is it possible that psychiatrists say that they are no danger anymore before and don´t get any problems for their little oopsies?). However, such a tortured, poor soul, someone who raped as bad as he wrote, could become a celebrated highlight of highbrow s*** literature, which makes him worthy of even more fringe Nobel prizes, maybe for voodoo economics.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
March 19, 2019
"We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?"

You did everything adults would do. That's what went wrong.

There is much to be said against this novel, and it has been said, eloquently, poignantly, many times. Let me make a case for keeping it on the curriculum despite the dated language, the graphic violence, the author's personality...

There are two myths about adolescents, and this novel does away with them in a - admittedly - drastic way. First of all, there is no general innocence in adolescents. They do what grown-ups do, but in a less mature and experienced way. That means they cheat, lie and steal, and use violence to achieve their goals, and they are vain and interested in dominating and manipulating others. But they are also caring, loving and resourceful, and willing to serve the community in which they participate.

The second myth regards the helplessness and general dependence of adolescents, which is also only true as long as they have grown-ups around. Leave adolescents alone, and they will organise themselves. The best example of what happens to a group of teenagers left alone is shown if a teacher in a (civilised) school in a (civilised) country leaves for just a couple of minutes.

If you have never experienced the amount of destructive power that is possible in that short time-span, you might think Golding exaggerates. Unfortunately, I can see any group of students turning into the characters in The Lord Of The Flies if they are put in the situation. I even know who would be the leaders, who would fight, who would bully, who would play along, and who would go under. Add teenage girls to the mixture and hell breaks loose.

Reading this novel with teenagers - if it is done with a big heart for their developmental stages and their hormonal glitches - gives them an opportunity to discuss a topic they already know everything about from their own lives but often keep hidden from naive, romantic grown-ups: the heart of an adolescent has dark corners, and it is important to shed light on the pain young people are able to cause each other if they are under the impression that they are not seen by the higher authority of the grown-up world.

Teenagers are grown-ups in training, and they make all the beginner mistakes without having the perspective to see the end of the tunnel.

Reading offers perspective!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
531 reviews34.5k followers
May 10, 2018
”They accepted the pleasures of morning, the bright sun, the whelming sea and sweet air, as a time when play was good and life so full that hope was not necessary and therefore forgotten.”

So this was a book many people had to read when they went to school and in some way this already says a lot about “Lord of the Flies”. Like so many of the books that are required to be read during people’s educational careers this one wasn’t only full of serious topics but also dealt with ethical values.

I mean we have boys between the ages of 6 and 12 who are stranded on an island after they had a plane crash. There is no adult who would force them to stay in line; there is no authority that would tell them what's right or wrong. They are left to their own devices and even though they were doing as good as you would expect schoolboys to do, they still were fairly decent at the beginning of the book.

“I agree with Ralph. We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English; and the English are the best at everything. So we’ve got to do the right things.”

Oh, how often I thought back to this quote when I read on with horror, every new chapter revealing another aspect of the dark abyss of human kind. The morale dilemma of Ralph and Piggy was so intense that I couldn’t help but feel with them whenever something bad and terrible happened. They were the only ones that tried to get order into the chaos but on an island without any rules only the strongest remain.

”I got you meat!”
Numberless and inexpressible frustrations combined to make his rage elemental and awe-inspiring. “I painted my face – I stole up. Now you eat – all of you – and I –“

The fight of savageness vs. civilisation was so tangible it hurt and I constantly found myself sitting at the edge of my seat hoping against all hope, that civilisation would actually win. It doesn’t take a genius to know that it didn’t. Why hold on to moral standards? Why listen to reason if you can have a kingdom of your own? Why should you accept someone else’s opinion if you’re stronger and can force them to obey your own rules? You know it better than the others, right?!

”If I blow the conch and they don’t come back; then we’ve had it. We shan’t keep the fire going. We’ll be like animals. We’ll never be rescued.”

I know I’m being provocative here but it is how it is. The strongest will always try to rule the weak. It’s been done for centuries and I doubt that it will ever stop. It’s as much a part of human nature as breathing and let’s face the bitter truth: There’s darkness in all of us. We can only decide if we fight it or let it in. ;-)

”Look, Ralph. We got to forget this. We can’t do no good thinking about it, see?”
“I’m frightened. Of us. I want to go home. O god I want to go home.”

”The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. There aren’t any beasts to be afraid of on this island.”

If you ask me there certainly was a monster on the island or should I rather say that there were monsters? Plural. It weren’t monsters that had been there all along though. No, it were the monsters that had fallen from the sky, claiming the island as their own, doing as they pleased because they could do so without anyone to stop them. The monsters on the island came from the outside and despite their claims to want to get off of the island they all knew that they actually wanted to stay.

”I’m scared of him,” said Piggy, “and that’s why I know him. If you’re scared of someone you hate him but you can’t stop thinking about him. You kid yourself he’s all right really, an’ then when you see him again; it’s like asthma an’ you can’t breathe.”

So in the end things took their natural course and got worse and worse. The descent into savageness was inexorable and the book ended on a heavy note. I can only speak for myself but the ending was brilliant. Brilliant and shocking and so very, very realistic that it caused me to ache even more. Those stupid boys... those stupid, stupid little boys. *shakes head*

Anyway, if you want to read a really good book which will haunt you days after you finished it, this should be your choice. *lol* After all I finished “Lord of the Flies” almost a week ago and I’m still thinking about it. ;-)

Happy Reading! I hope you’ll enjoy it as well!

Profile Image for David.
Author 22 books16 followers
August 2, 2007
I just don't buy it.

This book is famous for unmasking what brutes we are, just under the surface, but, well, for all the hype, it just isn't convincing. People--even teenage boys--just aren't as savage as Golding seems to want us to believe, and nothing in this book persuades me otherwise.

Perhaps if I'd gone to English boarding school I'd feel differently--but then that's the real irony of this book, that the brutality from which the British Empire was supposed to save so many people and cultures was in fact the Brits projecting their own savagery onto others.

But the rest of us, no, we aren't monsters underneath. A little messed up, maybe, a little more raw, but nowhere near the kind of brutes that Golding wants us to believe.

Profile Image for Lyn.
1,868 reviews16.5k followers
December 14, 2018
Years after I read this masterpiece, it is still chilling.

Golding spins a yarn that could have been told centuries ago, primal human nature unmoored from civilization does not take long to break away and devolve into a feral thing.

As good today, and as haunting, as it was when it was published in 1954. This should be on a list of books that must be read.

** 2018 addendum - it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think.

Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,145 reviews2,181 followers
August 3, 2022

How are dictators being made? Mein Kampf, Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, The Last King of Scotland and Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, won't answer this question perfectly. William Golding has the perfect answer to it through this allegory.

How can a novel about a bunch of stranded school kids teach us about dictators?

This is not just a novel about school boys. This is a novel about the intricate ways the human psyche performs when it is stretched to the paramount in abominable circumstances when liberty is abundant, and everyone is equal, without any prerogatives.

This parable hits the right chord to enlighten us regarding our leniency to entropy.
This is exactly how dictators are made. The boys teach us a lot of lessons through the way they behave and the areas they remain silent.

What I learned from this book
1) Who is the beast in the Lord of the flies?
There is a chance that some people will try to read this novel superficially without thinking about its deeper meaning. It is the concept of the beast discussed by the author that they will ultimately get stuck after being confused. We can interpret the beast in many ways depending on our conscience.

The simplest explanation of the beast is that it is the basic instinct of savagery existing in the minds of human beings. You can interpret it in many complicated ways based on your thinking level.
“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.”

2) Are human beings behaving in a civilized manner just because of the laws that he has to follow?
This is a tricky question to answer. But it becomes an easy question if you have read this book and contemplated it for some time.
“Which is better--to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

"The rules!" shouted Ralph, "you're breaking the rules!"
"Who cares?"

3) What is the easiest way to know about the personality of a person?
Golding metaphorically tells us the easiest way to understand the personality of a person.

It is said that personality is who we are and what we do when everybody is watching and character is what we are and what we do when nobody is watching.

The way a person talks to older people, his subordinates, and disabled people tells us a lot about their character. These are the groups of people who cannot stand up as equals for their rights.

We know that adversity builds and reveals character. We can see the author's brilliance by the way how he culminated all the above-mentioned ideas and brilliantly revealed them to us through the behavior of a few stranded children.
"He wanted to explain how people were never quite what you thought they were."

My favourite three lines from this book
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?"

"I believe man suffers from an appalling ignorance of his own nature. I produce my own view in the belief that it may be something like the truth."

What could have been better?
Some people may say this novel has extreme racist remarks and body shaming. There is also some content that some readers might find explicit.

This novel was published on 17 September 1954. It would be best if you kept this in the back of your mind while reading it. It is because some people are viewing this book through the current lens of political correctness they find it disturbing. That is one of the greatest injustices we can do to any literary creation.

5/5 This novel is one among those few masterpieces that can be read in many ways depending on the reader's proclivity.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,241 followers
May 16, 2019
A British airplane on fire crashes on a deserted isolated South Sea's island, in the middle of an atomic war set in the near future . All the grown-ups are killed and only children 12 and younger survive, how are they to cope (basically an allegorical story of what is human nature , good or evil ?) . Ralph is chosen leader, "Piggy" his intellectual sidekick he wears glasses, this beautiful green tropical coral isle with a blue lagoon magnificent palm trees, better yet coconut trees too and plenty of yellow bananas, other fruits are seen. Wild numerous pigs in the forest, plenty of fish in the ocean so no worries right...Wrong! Ralph has a rescue fire set which goes sadly out of control , and one of the boys is never seen again, Jack doesn't like playing second fiddle to Ralph. He takes his group of choirboys followers and leaves, to form a new fierce warrior tribe on Castle Rock, painting their faces and becoming great hunters....Since Piggy's eye glasses are the only way the kids can start a fire, Jack raids Ralph's shelter and steals it, the poor helpless boy can't function without them, blind as a bat ( I know it's a misnomer, but it sounds great). Complicating the situation is the mysterious "Beast," on the mountain is it real? Or just a legend...Earlier Simon sees the evil head of a large boar on a stick , in the middle of the forest (Lord of the Flies). He has a haunting vision and flees towards the children, scaring them all. In the darkness they believe it's the beast and have to defend themselves, with whatever weapons they possess ..a tragedy occurs. Later the two"tribes" struggle for supremacy on the island....Will the wicked inherit the Earth? And maybe the last outpost of civilization left is here... This novel is a superb narrative of today's nations wars of conquest, anything is good as long as your side wins...
Profile Image for The Artisan Geek.
445 reviews7,257 followers
January 19, 2021
One of the worst books I have ever read. The experience was excruciating.

Giving this one another shot. Tried last year and the first 30 pages were so painful. Did a lot of research on this book (spoke to a couple of people as well) and I feel like if I don't get through it this time around, I probably never will.

I got this book at the De Slegte many years ago but never read it. However now, Rory Power is bringing out a book coming July called Wilder Girls, with I heard is a feminist retelling of this. I'm hoping to compare the two, so this might just be the push for me to finally read this one :)

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Profile Image for Yulia.
339 reviews316 followers
May 11, 2008
I was Piggy (well, in personality at least, though not in portliness). I hated everyone who picked on him. I still do. Should people be forgiven for what they do on a deserted island? That depends on whether you think their true nature has revealed itself, or their humanity has been corrupted by circumstance and stress. In a world where almost every human trait is now considered a product of both nature and nurture, would Golding have written his tale differently today? No, I don't believe so. He was quite ahead of his time to believe some of the boys, though certainly not the majority, still remained moral despite the situation. The question is, what would have happened to me? It was impossible not to wonder after I read this book.
Profile Image for Glenn Sumi.
404 reviews1,535 followers
December 12, 2021

A couple of months ago, I picked up To Kill A Mockingbird, a book I last read in high school. What fascinated me about the exercise was how much I remembered and how much I didn’t, what I appreciated as a teen and what I do now.

After that, I began wondering how I would respond to the other books I had to read and analyze as a youth. Hence my rereading of Lord Of The Flies. It’s equally powerful – shocking, even by today’s standards. And it’s all very efficiently done.

Both books are deserved classics. I don’t regret a moment spent rereading either one.

So… perhaps this will become a series. What’s next: Catcher In The Rye? A Separate Peace? Anyhow, on with the review... and keep in mind that if you weren't forced to read this back in school, THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD (or A-HEAD - if you'll excuse the pun).

What do I remember from my first reading?
• The set-up, of course. After a plane crashes, a group of English boys finds themselves stranded on an island and, with no adults to guide them, form a kind of society that quickly breaks down, resulting in madness and murder.
• The symbols, among them: the conch (for order and civilization, I suppose, since if one holds it one can speak in front of a group); the glasses (or “specs”), which help create fire and, since they belong to the nearsighted, brainy yet mercilessly bullied Piggy, might also represent intelligence.
• The idea of monsters, both real and imagined.
• I remember being entertained by the nickname Piggy – what a childish thing, but it is memorable and symbolic in its own way. What a smart move on author William Golding’s part to call him that.
• The ending. I knew a couple of children died, and that eventually the rest were rescued.

What don’t I remember from that reading?
• I’d forgotten that many of the book’s “hunters” were (back in civilian life) members of a choir!
• I’d totally forgotten about the young twins, Sam and Eric, whose names are blended by Golding into the very contemporary-sounding name Samneric.
• I should have, but didn’t, realize the book took place during some unspecified war.

What do I appreciate now?
• The economy and compactness of the book. There’s very little fat in it (besides the fat dripping from the roasted boar). And though there are lots of vivid descriptions of clouds, forests and sun glinting on sand, nothing feels gratuitous.
• How beautifully Golding captures children’s behaviour, especially in groups. This was Golding’s first novel, and he knew boys so well. (Perhaps he was raising sons at the time.)
• There are lots of characters with Anglo names that sound a lot alike (Ralph, Jack, Roger, Robert, Simon, Henry – something that instantly “dates” it, I suppose), but Golding gradually fills you in on them. It took a while for me to understand Roger’s sadistic nature, for instance.
• The theme of bullying, which is as relevant as ever. Is this a fact of nature? Does every species find someone/thing among them to tease and ridicule? Piggy is overweight, unathletic, myopic and has asthma (and another thing I didn’t notice: his speech places him in a slightly lower class than everyone else), but he’s also incredibly smart. He can see things that the charismatic, initial leader Ralph doesn’t, which is why they make a good pair. But the fact that everyone, from the oldest to the youngest, teases him, is very disturbing.
• The hallucinatory scenes with Simon (often thought of as the book’s most intuitive character) and the “beast,” which gives the novel its title. I wasn’t prepared for the sheer nightmarish horror of these episodes. No wonder Stephen King was so influenced by this book (he borrowed the novel's “Castle Rock” and uses it regularly as a setting).
• The political/social allegory at its centre. How do we make a society work? Is hunting (to feed us) more important than providing shelter or coming up with a way to be rescued? What happens when people don’t pull their weight?
• All of this is done so very subtly. There’s a moment when “chief” Ralph is gradually losing his power, and Piggy suggests he blow the conch to form an assembly. And Ralph knows that if he blows the conch and no one comes, it will be irrevocable. Brilliant observation.
• The idea of the “beast.” Is the idea of the “other” something intrinsic and primitive? Or do we create monsters as a mere projection of our own fears?
• The little visual details, like Ralph pushing the hair out of his face. It’s both a naturalistic detail and one that points out how all the boys are becoming savage (funnily enough, Piggy’s hair doesn’t grow)
• I had no idea how exciting the plot got in the last couple of chapters. Golding cranked up the tension to 11. Even though I knew how the book ended, I was still turning every page, heart thumping, hoping Ralph survived being pursued by Jack and his gang.

The few things that didn’t work this time around:
• The line “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart…” in the penultimate paragraph of the book seems way too on the nose. I can imagine a million students underlining that with a big "Aha!"
• I forgot Piggy used the N-word. Really. It’s there.


I recalled a lot more of this book than Mockingbird. Once read, it has the power and heft of something that is so true and essential that it must have always been around. (I’ve felt this way about other literary works, like Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” for instance.)

But, and here’s the weird thing, I think this book is better appreciated as an adult. Younger people are so caught up in the immediacy of every complication. I remember studiously talking about themes before I fully understood them from life. Adults, because we’ve lived through decades, can recognize the patterns of behaviour, the archetypal figures looming behind bullies and visionaries, both in private and public life, that emerge so strikingly in this book.

Finally: why haven’t I read more William Golding?
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,094 followers
August 24, 2016
Civilización y barbarie. ¿Civilización o barbarie? ¿Cuán profunda es el alma humana? ¿Somos todos tan malos? ¿Somos buenos y en algún momento la vida hace aflorar lo más perverso que está oculto en nuestros corazones? ¿Nacemos con una maldad adormecida y latente o las circunstancias de la vida nos transforman e inclinan hacia el mal? Este libro me ha hecho plantear estas preguntas. Me ha hecho pensar. En otras reseñas, he comentado cuáles fueron los libros que más me han gustado y en este caso debo decir que en lo que va del año, "El Señor de las Moscas" es el libro que más me ha impactado (esa es la palabra).
Parece mentira que los personajes principales son tan sólo niños de entre 6 y 12 años. Hasta parece inverosímil, pero lo inverosímil es algo que en la literatura se sale de su propio cauce, aunque la realidad aporta cuestiones similares.
Ya desde el principio, el autor nos mete de lleno en la trama argumental de la historia. William Golding no pierde tiempo en explicar la caída del avión, ni como se salvan los niños y perecen todos los adultos sino que directamente nos muestra a unos niños tratando de sobrevivir en una isla desierta de la forma más visceral, tomando decisiones propias de los adultos y haciéndose hombres de golpe.
Naturalmente y como en todo tipo de situaciones, aparecen los líderes. Aquellas personas hechas para hacerse cargo de la situación pero con formas totalmente antagónicas para pensar y actuar en los momentos más difíciles.
De esta manera conoceremos a los tres personajes principales del libro: Ralph, Jack y Piggy. Encontramos en Ralph una característica que sobresale claramente y que es la del sentido común. Toda decisión que pasa por sus manos es analizada fríamente para buscar un bien que sea el mejor para todos. La idea de hacer una fogata y mantener el humo constante en el aire con la esperanza de que los vea un barco es simple en sí, pero es a la vez difícil de sostener en el tiempo.
Contará con él con Piggy. Ese muchacho gordito de amplias gafas cuyo principal emblema es la sensatez. De esta manera sus personalidades ofician de equilibrio ante los sucesos que vendrán y estarán los mellizos San y Eric, caracterizados por la fidelidad que le profesan a Ralph incluso hasta el final.
En la contraparte de esta historia nos encontraremos con Jack, un muchacho impulsivo y agresivo, de esos que acostumbran a hacerse los guapos en el barrio. Tiene un instinto casi salvaje. Para él, lo único que interesa es cazar, matar, subsistir a base de lanzazos contra cuanto jabalí se le cruce. Asar la carne y comerla de a dentelladas. Hasta eso llega su forma de vivir y eso es lo que exige de sus súbditos (hay un punto que los otros muchachitos adquieren ese mote).
Lo secundarán con un fanatismo ciego Roger, un chico violento (tal vez más que Jack) y Maurice, una especie de lugarteniente efectivo a la hora de los castigos.
En el libro, Golding utiliza ciertos elementos como simbolismos para tratar de mantener algo de ecuanimidad en una atmósfera tan desbalanceada como la de esta isla desierta. La caracola es el elemento para expresarse y a su vez para escuchar al que tiene algo que decir y se transformará en un objeto del deseo. Todos querrán tener el control de este artefacto cuya función principal es la comunicación, pero pierde el sentido para el que se lo intentó utilizar en un principio.
Otros elementos tiene otro objetivo como la fiera, del que yo intuyo representa el miedo que todos llevamos dentro. Todo aquello a lo que tememos y no podemos controlar. Al principio atemoriza a los peques de 6 años y posteriormente, este miedo los alcanzará a todos.
Las posiciones de Ralph y Jack son completamente antagónicas, enfrentadas, irreversibles y… peligrosas. Tarde o temprano la situación se irá desvirtuando. Todo se reduce a cazar o salvarse y el clima se pondrá denso, pesado y sangriento.
Varias veces, se repite la frase ¡Mata al jabalí! ¡Córtale el cuello! ¡Derrama su sangre!, algo que considero totalmente de espanto...
El último de los elementos que regulan la vida de estos niños es El Señor de las Moscas, simbolizada por esa cabeza de jabalí clavada en una estaca. Este nombre es uno de los tantos que se utilizan para denominar al Diablo. Es la encarnación del mal, una especie de tótem infernal que infectará la mente de los niños más oscuros y ya no habrá vuelta atrás.
Cuando estaba llegando a la última parte del libro y ante las escenas finales que enfrentan a ambos bandos de niños volví a reflexionar que eran seres humanos como yo, como el autor o como tú lector que también, si leíste el libro puede que te hayas preguntado algo que yo sí me pregunté:
¿Somos tan malos?
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,302 followers
April 28, 2023
Un roman despre o insulă pustie și o mînă de copii naufragiați. Cu siguranță o rescriere a lui Robinson Crusoe (1719) și a altor romane cu insule și eroi eșuați într-un ținut mai degrabă paradisiac (Insula de corali, Comoara din insulă, Insula misterioasă etc.).

Dar scopul lui William Golding a fost îndeosebi unul polemic. Romanul lui va dezminți sau / și va ilustra (pe o cale ocolită) postulatul lui Jean-Jacques Rousseau: „Omul este bun de la natură, dar societatea îl pervertește”. Observație: cînd ajung pe insulă, mulți dintre copiii lui Golding par deja pervertiți.

În Viața, staniile & uimitoarele aventuri ale lui Robinson Crusoe, marinar din York (1719), găsim un personaj foarte norocos (iresponsabil de norocos!), căruia totul îi iese din plin. Caprele se domesticesc singure și intră de bunăvoie în țarc, grîiul, orzul, cerealele cresc spontan din pămîntul fertil: „Mare mi-a fost mirarea cînd am văzut vreo 10 sau 12 spice de orz”. Cînd eroul e plictisit, un papagal inteligent îi ține de urît. Natura sare, așadar, în sprijinul nesăbuitului. Pentru ca fericirea să-i fie deplină era nevoie de Vineri. Și iată că bunul Vineri aleargă spre Salvatorul lui. Și i se supune.

Împăratul muștelor narează povestea pe dos. Copiii intră rapid în conflict, se fac două tabere, „cei buni” (din ce în ce mai puțini, rămîn la sfîrșit Ralph și Piggy, apoi numai Ralph) și „cei răi” (tot mai numeroși, în frunte cu Jack Merridew). Frica trezește în copii cruzimea. Încep să creadă că insula e bîntuită de o fiară malefică. Vor s-o găsească și s-o vîneze. Firește că n-o vor ucide, fiara e doar o fantasmă a minții lor delirante. Îl vor ucide, în schimb, pe Simon, un băiat epileptic, obsedat de prezența Ei. În realitate, Fiara e fiecare dintre ei și toți la un loc. Asta mi-a amintit de parabola despre Simorg, Regele păsărilor, rescrisă de Borges.

La sfîrșitul lecturii (menționez că puștanii sînt recuperați de pe insulă), mă întreb încă o dată: Omul este bun de la natură și numai societatea îl corupe? Sau: omul e rău / crud de la natură, iar societatea îl ajută (prin educație, religie, coerciție, dresaj, azil psihiatric etc.) să devină iubitor și milos? Nu îndrăznesc să propun un răspuns isteț. S-au făcut experimente (mă gîndesc la cel inițiat de Christina Maslach și Philip Zimbardo, în 1971, la Stanford University), s-au formulat ipoteze: psihologii mai au de lucru. Și totuși: am trăit cîndva o împrejurare, în care am văzut că pînă și cel mai puțin violent dintre muritori poate deveni (fără să vrea?) crud, nemilos, viclean. Răul poate fascina. Trezește plăceri...

P. S. Deși în cei 68 de ani care au trecut de la publicarea cărții, exegeții au identificat toate aluziile (și multe altele care n-au trecut niciodată prin mintea autorului), voi aminti că numele ebraic Belzebuth / Beelzebub / Baal-Zebub (zeul impostor din Ekron) se traduce prin „Împăratul muștelor”.
Profile Image for Gothadh.
14 reviews
June 1, 2007
I absolutely hated this book. That's my over-riding memory of it I'm afraid. I had to read it in secondary school when I was about 12 and I never remember disliking a book so much which was surprising as I was a voracious reader.

I just remember having absolutely nothing in common with the characters - a group of English upper / middle class school boys whereas I was a Scottish working class girl. I just could not relate to the story at all and just wished they would all kill each other as soon as possible so the book would finish.

The fact that we had to read the book in class at the pace of some of the slower readers (agonisingly painfully slow readers) and then discuss it afterwards, which was like trying to get blood out of a stone, probably didn't help.

Never, ever again.
Profile Image for Helen (Helena/Nell).
136 reviews115 followers
November 9, 2008
Over the years I must have read this book five or six times. Last night I was reading it on a train with a highlighter in my hand, because I decided to teach it this year again. Teachers wreck books, of course. We all know that. On the other hand, whatever you have to study-read, you tend to carry a bit of it with you. You don't forget that book, at least. Although I must add, that it's quite risky introducing to a Scottish classroom a book with the memorable words: "The English are best at everything...."

I wasn't sure how much it would have dated. I must have read it for the first time 30 years ago. Published in 1954, the phrasing would have been pretty modern then. Even now, most of it has work well. The phrase that jumped at me -- and it only appeared once -- was when Piggy (I think) compared the boys detrimentally to 'niggers', instead of just 'savages'. Ouch. Mental note to make them look hard at this bit. After all this is such a horrible little group of boys. As complacently white as can be, one group of them from a choir school (or a public school with a choir), no less. And Ralph, the 'hero', son of a naval officer.

Golding, as a teacher in an upmarket school, presumably knew those sort of boys all too well. The boys being prepared to carry the empire forward.

Except the setting suggests the empire may not be going forward. Somebody somewhere is fighting a war that is evidently nuclear. It's never quite clear what is going on or how the officer turns up cool as cucumber on a naval cutter at the end.

Most of the young people in my class this year have (sigh) seen the film, so they know what happens. The group of boys marooned on an idyllic Pacific Island first start off having a sort of cheery adventure. There are references to Coral Island, Swallows and Amazons and Treasure Island too. They want to have fun, and one of their number -- Jack -- talks a great deal about 'fun', though his idea of fun is killing pigs.

They arrive a fairly civilised little group but they gradually degenerate. Golding's moral message is about the "darkness of man's heart" and it's a good moral companion to Heart of Darkness now I come to think about it. The boys natural fears escalate and the younger children create a mythical 'beast', which then seems to materialise as a fact when the body of a dead airman, killed a war fought in the skies overhead, floats down to the island in a parachute.

But the real beast is their own desire for control and domination, as well as an interesting bloodlust -- the word 'lust' is used of this, and the killing of the first pig is certainly described with unmistakable sexual resonance. One of the boys pushes a sharpened stick "up her ass". There are no girls in the group -- what a different novel it would have to have been if there were! -- but the pig they kill is a sow, and they interrupt her in suckling a brood of piglets. What a strange, strange thing to put into your novel. Not just the killing, but the slaughtering of a mother pig and a kind of sexual frenzy. Yuk!

But hey -- he's intending to shock. He's intending to show that this blood lust thing isn't far away from human kind, or male human kind at least, and that it doesn't take much to call it out. Even Ralph, the Aryan protagonist, feels himself getting caught up in it. Paint your face, start whooping and chanting and you can do, it seems, almost anything.

The kind, poetic, imaginative Simon gets butchered (teeth and nails at this point -- not spears). PIggy is despatched by Roger, the executioner. The whole of their little society is clearly turning into a Stalinist regime, with each boy taking his place, as prescribed by Golding, which is what you get to do when you write an allegory.

It's a powerful read, though more repetitive, in linguistic terms, than I remembered - almost as repetitive as D H Lawrence in places. At the highpoint, towards the end, when Ralph is completely isolated and being hunted down, the word 'ululation' is done to death. But at least you can't read this book without learning what it means!

What I both like and don't like about it is the way it makes me want to argue. The whole thing is completely manipulated. Is this what would happen? Would the darkness of man's heart take over?

I have not much doubt that man's heart is dark, I guess, but when I got off the train I left my very lovely reddy-orangy furry scarf, and the chap who was sitting opposite me (I didn't speak to him during the journey) ran after me with it. It brightened my day. Perhaps he was a 'Simon' and would quickly get trampled if our civilisation were to decline.

But look Golding, my lad -- that bit where you allow the man in the parachute to get dumped, dead, on the island, scaring the boys out of their wits -- if that hadn't happened -- your choice plot element -- well, the three boys Jack, Roger and Ralph, would have established Absence of Beast. It might all have turned out very differently.

If Piggy hadn't been wearing glasses, there would have been no fire....

If it had started raining sooner....

If Ralph had been a bit more intelligent....

If the pigs had been a bit better at getting away....

On an island, living on fruit and getting scratched and cut, one or two of them would have developed fatal infections and their main enemy would probably have been illness and death, which would have drawn them together a bit. Even the biting insects would probably have driven them potty. One or two of them, it's my bet, would have descended into depression and just dwindled away.

It wouldn't have been like The Coral Island, but it wouldn't have been the inevitable collapse of civilisation either.

Steven King likes this book. It fits beautifully with his love of dramatic thriller, increasing isolation of central brave character, and underlying opposition between good and evil. Here evil wins, though.

Ralph is about to be exterminated when the officer arrives, so the deus ex machina is just there as an ironic way to end the book. That bastard is even 'embarrassed' when Ralph bursts into tears. That's British stiff upper lippery for you.

I don't believe, in the boys' behaviour. I don't believe that Jack, the killer (I nearly said Jack the Giant-Killer), is there just below the surface, although I do believe that wars bring out the worst in us. I don't believe that Roger -- just a little boy -- is the natural henchman, with a desire to execute his peers running just below his veneer of civilisation.

But then perhaps I do. I've seen it, haven't I? Seen nasty young people doing nasty young things nastily. Conditioned into that, in their turn, by not very delightful adults, damaged adults.

Oh bloody Golding -- go away! I put my money on man's intelligence. You gotta use your head to survive, whichever allegory you seem to be inhabiting. And sometimes you do survive and sometimes you don't, but the 'darkness of man's heart' is offset by the light, which always returns.

The trouble is, the dark heart goes for power - doesn't it? And the desire for power and control over others can be wielded quickly and wrongly by just a few people. It's what's happening all over the world at this minute.

And yet -- the majority are good-hearted souls, who will pick up your scarf on a train and return it to you. There are more good guys than bad ones. Some of them are quietly and happily reading books at this minute. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,965 reviews675 followers
March 7, 2022
Book 2⭐
Author 1 ⭐

I'm glad I can check this one off my list. I wish I had enjoyed it more. I was pretty bored after chapter two so I started to read online articles and other reviews. To find out the author confessed that he attempted to rape a girl named Nora (15) when he was 18 while home from his first year at Oxford made my skin crawl. He was sure the girl "wanted heavy sex". There are plenty of articles online with a simple search "William Golding+rape". Nobel Prize for Literature novelist, yea whatever.

Another Golding confession was when he was a teacher, he got schoolboys to fight among themselves. Maybe that's the origin of Lord of the Flies?

The audiobook on Libby/Overdrive read by the author was dreadful. I searched and found much superior narration on Youtube by Martin Jarvis. A disturbing story, more so because they were kids.

A February Readalong
Profile Image for Andrew.
Author 9 books34 followers
August 28, 2008
I was tempted to give this five stars, since in so many ways it strikes me as the kind of masterpiece, like Heart of Darkness, that I imagine will retain its horror and readability for centuries. The prose veers (or as Golding would say it, "tends") from plain to painterly. The story is well known: a sort of allegorical morality play set in modern times -- fancy English boys left to their own devices don't so much as revert to darkness as discover primitive outlets for the darkness reflected in their greater society. This is what I love about Heart of Darkness: try as one might, Kurtz cannot be pigeonholed into good or evil. He is excellent at what he does, and what he does is evil. Kurtz is a true reflection of what excellence was to Colonial Europe, and in so far as Colonial Europe was good, cultivated, honorable, and esteemed, so is Kurtz. Kurtz isn't good or evil; he is true.

Golding's version is darker. It centers mostly around the corrupting power of urges to overwhelm social order. Freudian criticism abounds, but the parallel I kept coming back to was Rome. I found that Piggy, no matter how truly annoying he is (another brilliant stroke by Golding is to make Piggy strangely unsympathetic), recalled those numerous Republicans of the Early Empire who advocated in a shrill but useless manner for a return to Senate rule but were shunted aside and usually killed by deranged sociopaths who behaved quite like like Jack. But be it Freudian or historic, any framing of this book feels cheap and hollow because the story has such a complexity of primal urges that it feels almost biological.

Golding said he came up with the idea of book after reading his children "Treasure Island or Coral Island or some such Island" in the years of the hydrogen bomb and Stalin and asked his wife, "why don't I write a children's story about how people really are, about how people actually behave?" To me that's a chilling question and it reveals an architecture not based on rigid Freudian or historical or symbolic parallels. Its portrait of sadism could have been lifted out of the newspapers; its struggle for dominion over the weak is an almost sexual frenzy recalls everything I know about torture in the dungeons of Argentine or US military prisons. In this respect, I think the book, like Heart of Darkness, is timeless.

But I chose not to give it five stars because at the center of Golding's book is a kind of rigid Christian iconography, like that you find in the Poisonwood Bible, that offends me, perhaps because it reminds me of the way I wrote my Freshman year of college, or perhaps because that rigidity, that allegiance to a=b symbolic logic insults my intelligence. The martyrdom of Simon, I felt, demeaned the human quality of Simon. I liked him best because he struck me as the most shrewd and practical. Reducing him to an icon transforms him into a variable: Simon = Paul or Peter or whomever, but ergo facto Simon ≠ Simon. When he comes down to the beach mutting "something about a body on a hill" Simon ceases to be a reflection of human complexity, or biological completeness, and instead becomes a rehashed precedent from Sunday school.

I've often felt that Heart of Darkness' genius was that it somehow reflected the effect of Darwin and modern thinking on the antiquated ideas of Colonial Europe, ie Kurtz isn't good or evil because good and evil are artifices that wilt beneath analysis. When Golding adheres to this materialist perspective, the book is masterly. When he swears allegiance to worn out Christian parables, that complexity is reduced to slips of paper.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews867 followers
January 27, 2020
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In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the dark side of human nature goes unchecked. This leads to the devolution we see among the boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. Whether or not you agree with Golding's central idea here, it is a well written and interesting novel. I'm not sure what my thoughts were at the time, but I remember having read the story sometime in junior high school. I'm perhaps a bit more cynical of this breakdown in society now (or perhaps not)! I saw parallels to JG Ballard's work, but, even if it is simply a high-rise apartment, Ballard's take on society seems more complete.

Golding's unrelenting attack on reason (and how easily it can be displaced) begins on the opening pages and continues until the boys are rescued. For me, that played not quite successfully against an engaging story. 3.25 stars
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