When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality – and brutal savagery – of their situation sets in.
The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be. Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.
I am surprised at why I didn’t read this one in school many many years ago. Doesn’t everyone read Lord of the Flies in school and have to write analyses on what the deeper meaning of the book is? I didn’t and therefore felt that I really should read this and see why it is so loved by teachers. I definitely see why it is considered to be a classic. And it is most definitely a book that fits right in with today’s societal problems. The main story of young boys getting stranded on a deserted island is an exciting story in itself. It is an intriguing scenario where most people can only imagine what it would be like, what they would do and what their new personalities would develop into. I honestly felt uneasy at several points in the story and I also caught myself making faces on the train on my way to and from work. It is a brutal story and it is hard to imagine why some of the 12 year-old boys could cmpletely change personalities and become violent-loving tyrants. It is really sad. The sides, represented by the rule-abiding nice-guy Ralph and the bloodlusting hunter Jack, can be compared to society. Ralph stands for politics and democracy and only tries to do what’s best for everyone, keeping the fire alive so a ship can see them and come to rescue. Jack wants to have fun, he wants to go hunting and loves the drama and stands up to Ralph. He gets lots of followers and in the end the good side only consists of Ralph and the smart, but rather disliked boy Piggy.
One thing that didn’t really feel good when reading this, was that I never really knew the characters. Most of them were just names, but still mentioned a lot. It was first at the end where the names were fewer that you understood them better. It was also written rather inconsistently. It almost felt like there were two different authors. This is a book meant for children, but in some places it was written with many difficult words that I don’t even know and had to look up. But in most places the language was normal. It should have been consistent throughout in my opinion. It would have been easier to read, either way. The characters felt their age, however. It is not often that a book nowadays has characters that act their age, they usually come off much older. But these boys really felt like 12. Good.
I don’t really know what else to write, it was well worth my time, and I do get it why students read it in school. But maybe more kids would appreciate it more if they waited some years. I give it a 4.