Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Lord of the Flies

Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fast read. It was a bit confusing at first because there isn't a setup - the book starts after the boys have been stranded on the island. It bugged me that I didn't know how they got there, what were they all doing on the plane, where were they going? So I moved past it. Kind of. The characters were quickly established, grounded in their personality and rapport between the book and reader began.

There is so much I want to say, but yet I'm overwhelmed by this book. How quickly the events escalated, and then just as suddenly there was the end. I wanted more. I wanted details of vengeance and the struggle to be human. It was over too soon.

Summary: William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition.

Recommended Reading:
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
1984 by George Orwell
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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