Lord of the Flies
– William Golding.
Lord of the Flies is a book about a group of boys who end up on an inhabited island after a plane crash. In the beginning, the boys are excited to enjoy their freedom without any adults around to supervise them but then things start going haywire.
The plot of the novel seems pretty straightforward but as I read on I started to understand the deeper meanings and themes of the story. This is an allegorical novel and it is intricately layered throughout. The main character of the book is Ralph who kind of becomes a leader of the group of boys with Piggy, an intellectual boy as his sidekick. Jack is a choirboy who at first befriends Ralph, becomes the leader of the hunting party and eventually turns to the dark side.At first, everyone seems to be getting along well enough but eventually, they start drifting apart and then turn against each other.
The story starts taking a dark and twisted turn as it progresses making the reader cringe a little. The theme of good versus evil is the first thing that popped out for me as I was reading. The need to have a civilized order in society is ingrained in all humans and without that order, there is complete chaos. Ralph and Piggy represent the order while Jack and his group embrace the chaos. Survival is another important aspect of the novel.
Every little detail in the book has a purpose; it is symbolic. For example – the conch used by the boys represents the need for a civil order of humans. I found the book a little difficult to read at times due to its pacing and heaviness. The start of the plot is slow and for a few chapters, I had to be patient and continue reading. Then everything starts happening all at once and that keeps you intrigued also giving you an understanding of the chaos on the island in the story. There is so much in the novel I could talk about; half of it I understood completely after I researched the book.
It is difficult for me to say if I like this book or not. Like I said before it is an allegorical novel about the conflicts between savagery and civilization, good and evil, etc. It is interesting to read; understanding slowly the meaning of the novel, the symbols and themes keep you interested. There is so much substance in the story that it becomes heavy to read at a stretch. Though, it is not a book you can read again and again even if you liked it.
*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.