Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flies 
Author: William Golding 
Release Date: First in 1954, October 1, 1999 
PublisherPenguin Books 
Source: Library 
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 is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible. 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.
I know people who have loved this book while others have absolutely hated it. I'm on the fence with Lord of the Flies by William Golding and mainly it's because I have such strong feelings about it.

The plot itself it's bad or anything, but it isn't completely original either. A bunch of kids get stranded on an uninhabited island is something we've seen. But it must have been different for the time during which it was published. For them, this book, as we discussed in class, was a huge shocker. No one wanted to believe that such evil could exist in children so they had a hard time believing what they read. The inclusion of all the allusions, especially The Lord of the Flies (point of the title!) to Beelzebub from the Bible, really brought out this point of this book. The savagery part of the book is so…ugh. I mean, yes, it’s possible for the youngest of angelic children to have some savagery in them (as depicted in this book), but oh man, when I read it (tried to read it) for the first time in 6th grade, I was like “this book is messed up.” Not that I didn’t think it was “messed up” this time I read it; I just understood everything better. The plot, as my teacher told us, is broken down into 2 parts: chapters 1-9 dealt with the innocence of the boys and chapters 10-12 were the savagery part. William Golding successfully uses many literary devices (allegory, foreshadowing, etc.), themes (evil, loss of innocence, fear, etc.), and so much more to make this story in Lord of the Flies a sick, twisting, yet thought provoking story.

My opinion of the characters pretty much stayed the same. Simon was my absolute favorite character and as much as I liked him, I hated Jack and Roger. Ralph and Piggy were also great characters and man, I felt for both of them. Jack and Roger are basically the bad guys. Like, seriously, seriously bad guys. They embody the “savage” part of these kids while Simon was the “practical one” and Ralph wanted to do things on the island based on “principle.” I won’t spoil anymore of this book for you but I wanted to shoot Jack and Roger at various parts of this book. Many times, when something went seriously wrong, I put the book down. I just felt SO BAD for the good guys. And I understood that maybe this book wasn’t the most decent book for a 6th grader, no matter how high their reading level is.

Overall, this is the first time I actually read this book all the way through. When I read it in the 6th grade, I didn’t get past chapter 3 but I’m glad I decided to re-read (well, technically read it all over since I didn’t remember much from it) and I loved to hate this book. It’s simple to read and you’ll loathe some characters but at the same time, you’re heart will root for a certain boy. It really showed that no matter how much savage there is in the world, there is some principle and democracy in the world. Not everyone is corrupted and his or her perseverance to stick to what they believe is strong, even to overthrow savagery. I suggest you read Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Some might hate it and others might love it to death. Either way, you’ll leave the book thinking hard about not only the world but also your own actions.
Cover Comments: 
It's actually a very nice cover but I completely forgot who it is on the cover. It fits the book and I like the flies as well.