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Lord of the Flies
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Archive: Other Books > Lord of the Flies - William Golding - 4 stars

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Kelly | 848 comments In this classic story by William Golding, we watch a group of boys fighting to survive on a deserted island. There are no adults and the children battle for power. They turn against one another and the results are terrible as they begin to turn into savages.

Amongst others, characters include Ralph who is voted chief. He tries to be fair and looks out for even the youngest of their group. Piggy is a thinker, but also an outsider who is not liked. Jack wants to hunt and hates both Ralph and Piggy. We see brothers Sam and Eric always act together.

The importance of keeping a fire going and determining if there is a dangerous beast on the island are main components in the book. The author shows shifts in actions and alliances as time goes by. This tale is timeless and well done.


Anita Pomerantz | 6758 comments Agree wholeheartedly on the timeless and well done part.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) I never tire of discussing this book. Certain unanswerable questions regularly come up. Would any group of boys turn savage like this; are they typical? Does a charismatic leader make a difference? Does the fact that they're British boarding school boys make a difference? What if they were girls, or coed? What if they were older, or of more divergent ages? What if they were of different 'classes' or backgrounds? What if there were more, or fewer, of them?

I loved the audio narrated by the author, in which he simply admits that he wrote of these boys because he was more familiar with them. He didn't write of girls, because he doesn't know them.

For a fun and surprisingly thought-provoking take on a castaway situation with a group of teen girls, I recommend Beauty Queens.


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy | 9388 comments Piggy did not turn savage. I’d like to think some boys wouldn’t.


Kelly | 848 comments Amy wrote: "Piggy did not turn savage. I’d like to think some boys wouldn’t."

You are right. Piggy did not and I also hope some of the younger ones who were scared would not als.


Idit | 1028 comments I haven't read it in 25 years, so can't remember the details, but...

Piggy happened to be the minority in this case - so there was no good reason for him to be savage
I think that everyone has the capacity to be the villain, and it's just a question of what type of villain: active one, passive that just closes their eyes, enthusiastic etc - and that has to do with their personality

Humans have an amazing ability to tell themselves the story they want to hear, and draw themselves as the misunderstood hero in the centre, so that usually they think that they are the victim.

The bad kids in Lord of the Flies would have been sure they are justified

It's a bit like that kids book 'The Wave' ... anyone remembers it?


Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Cheryl wrote: "I never tire of discussing this book. Certain unanswerable questions regularly come up. Would any group of boys turn savage like this; are they typical? Does a charismatic leader make a difference?..."

I love your questions and personally tend to focus on the leader.


message 8: by Cheryl (last edited Jun 02, 2018 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Re' The Wave: I'd never heard of it, but I just spent a lot of time surfing around trying to determine just how scary-true the adaptations of it are. I found this: http://www.cubberleycatamount.com/Con.... Reading interviews with Jones years later, we see that he was concerned 'how fast it got out of control' .... reading the high school newspaper, we see that he tried more real life simulations the next year.... Hmm....

There's also the the game/experiment done with *third-graders.* Popularized in A Class Divided, Then and Now and elsewhere, it was intended to teach children in Iowa what it meant to be victims of prejudice. One source of information online is: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc...

In the early 90s we in teacher-training college were taught about this experiment but we didn't analyze it on a scientific basis. Obviously nowadays neither experiment could be replicated, at least in the US.


kris | 29 comments Great commentary from you guys! I would add that I was forced to read this for a second time for school (as I had already read it a few years earlier) and it makes a great re-read. Knowing the final outcomes makes a second read really rewarding.


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