William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first, it seems as though it’s all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious & life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic & death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket & homework & adventure stories—& another world is revealed beneath, primitive & terrible. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was 1st 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 & 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 classic.
I read this book as part of the Back to the Classics Challenge for 2016 as my banned book. This book was frequently banned for its violence, language, sexuality, and racism. I recognized the first two while reading, but not the last two. Maybe I’m a bit dense, or maybe people just have dirty minds. The blurb below contains some spoilers, be warned.
Everyone told me this book was weird. I had no idea that the weirdness would start by page 10 and that it would turn downright disturbing by the end. These boys very quickly turn into murdering beasts. The bullying of Piggy (whose real name we never find out) starts right away even by the boy who is supposed to be his friend. The murder of another child by children was awful. Part of the power of this books was that is was children, not adults, who were committing atrocities. The rescue at the end by the military is ironic because these men are actually committing the same crimes in the war. Overall, I didn’t like this book much. It’s another that I’m glad I read because of its status as a classic, but the story was a bit gory for me (I’m extremely sensitive to violence and bullying). 2/5 stars