Lord of the Flies

William Golding
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-10-05

L 5         770L        GLE 5.0

copies

2.   .50  PB  G   bumps    L1      54/06/12     7.5x4

3.   .50  PB  G  bumps, slight bend in top edge throughout    L1     54/06/10   7.5x4

6.   .45  PB  G  bumped   L1    54/06/18   7.5x4

L (0) 7.   .25  PB  G  bumped, name 1st page, 2 paged folded     L1  54/06/13    7.5x4

8.   .25  PB  G  bumped, tear on corner bump, name inside cover, folded and tear last couple pages  L1  54/06/6    7.5x4

Reviewed: 2016-08-23

PIGGIE!!!!!PIGGIE!!!!! A tale of when society crumbles. Such a good book, one of the top ones ever. And Piggie on a stick.

 

Goods

Reviewed: 2016-07-05
Paperback
Reviewed: 2014-05-17

A good classic every time. 

Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

This story is set during the period of wartime evacuation, when a group of young British boys becomes the victim of a plane crash, while traveling to a safe location away from England. The boys find themselves in a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific ocean and, after gathering all the “bigguns” and the “littluns”, attempt to govern themselves. Ralph, who’s found a conch he deems to be special, calls in an assembly by blowing it. He’s named chief, and his job is to rule and maintain order. They come up with a system in which only the person holding the conch has a right to speak up.

Things don’t seem so bad at first. The island, as chief Ralph mentions, isn’t such a bad island. They have Piggy’s glasses to make a fire and keep it going to alert any passerby ships of their presence via smoke signals. There’s a surprising amount of food and drink available, so starvation isn’t likely to be anyone’s cause of death around here.

By the first few chapters we can tell things aren’t going to be that easy, and as the story progresses, they are ultimately met with a scenery of complete conflict and chaos. Ralph turns out not to be such a great chief, and Piggy’s out of his depth when he tries to help because no one takes him seriously. Revolution sets in, as in any politically crumbling society, by some more charismatic personalities, and the plot quickly descends into madness as the thirst for power begins to encompass everyone’s actions. The conch that Ralph uses to call in assemblies serves as a means of instilling fairness and order, but as soon as it is destroyed, so is the balance between civilization and savagery.

“Kill the beast, cut his throat, spill his blood.”

The story is set up in such a way that it portrays the flaws in human nature by transitioning civilized young boys into murderous beasts, and therefore showing the lack of judgement that leads man to start wars, which explains the groundbreaking importance of this literary work in its original publication period.

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

Overall, I’d say this is a very thought-provoking novel and a terrifying depiction of the fragility of the most basic rules we’re governed by. I can see why it’s considered a masterpiece, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One would think their ultimate fate gives the story a somewhat happy ending, as they do get rescued after all. However, if the island is but an allegory of general human behavior, who’s gonna rescue them when they’re older and find themselves in the midst of another war?
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