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Lord of the Flies

A book by William Golding

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The Beast is "Close, close, close."

  • Nov 22, 2004
The plot of LORD OF THE FLIES goes something like this. During the middle of WWII, a British airplane full of male English schoolchildren is shot done over the Pacific. Upon reaching shore the survivors realize that all the adults died in the crash. The group of boys, aging in range from 6-12, bands together to survive on the island until they can be rescued. The tribe holds an assembly and elects a chief, a bright young man named Ralph. Ralph is a democratic leader and does everything he can to keep things together. He is joined in his efforts by Jack, the lead singer of a group of choir boys who turns the choir into a group of hunters; Piggy, an extremely intelligent boy who is chubby and wears glasses; and Simon, an eccentric young lad who suffers from fainting spells and seems capable of touching the spiritual world. Piggy and Jack don't get along at all. But Ralph and Jack begin things as friends. Things go alright for awhile, but there is a darkness on the island that everyone can feel. As the days pass into weeks, tension develops between Ralph and Jack. In his ambition to feed the tribe with meet, Jack slowly falls under the spell of darkness and becomes filled with pride. He eventually splits the tribe in two. Both pigs and people become slaughtered as civilization falls apart in a world of immoral and unethical chaos.

LORD OF THE FLIES is one of my favorite books of all time. I first read it when I was a junior in high school and was deeply impressed by the wonderful story. The story is full of vivid images that become frozen in one's mind.

Besides just being a great story, the novel can be read on a variety of levels. For instance, there is the conflict of man versus nature; civilization versus anarchy; democratic principles versus dictatorship. The book could be read as merely a psychological treatise examining the various states of the human mind. Or it can be read as a spiritual metaphor, illustrating the depravity of man outside of God's grace.

Besides THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, LORD OF THE FLIES is perhaps the most influential book of the mid-20th Century. The book wasn't well received upon it's initial release, but was "discovered" in the 1960s by college students. Since that time it has become a bestseller and a modern classic. It is highly recommended and one of the few books that I believe every American should be familiar with. Beware the Beast!

This edition of LORD OF THE FLIES includes an introduction by E.M. Forster, a selection of postnotes following the essay, and a group of selected critical analysis of the work.

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More Lord of the Flies reviews
review by . November 17, 2010
"The Lord Of The Flies" is an exciting adventure yarn that memorably delves into the problem of free will versus social order. Unlike most such literary explorations, we learn here that free will may not be all that great after all, or a confining social order all that bad.      A plane crashes in a tropical island, leaving a large but unorganized group of pre-teen boys the only survivors. A boy named Ralph takes charge by virtue of a vote, and for a while the boys …
review by . July 02, 2010
Lord of the Flies is a book that should be read by any and all, but especially those who might relate to the characters in the book the most: younger boys. I read this book in school and loved it. As I have continued to re-read it, I have gained more appreciation for the greater themes in the book and what the boys (and their struggle) represent. It's a good thing to have under your belt, as it is constantly referenced, parodied, and pastiched. One of my favorite books, Battle Royale, definitely …
review by . July 22, 2010
Every time I finish reading this book, I am left with a horrible sense of loss. Experiencing the loss of humanity that children experience leaves the reader with a scared sense of fear, fear that this could be true and occur way too easily in unsupervised civilization.      If you are seeking entertainment, this is not your book. If you are seeking a commentary on the internal evil within us all and the ease at which we may slip back to it, this is your book. Golding shows us …
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
Brilliant satire and deconstruction of society on a base level.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
Such a dark book, but I really loved it. Such an interesting look at the birth of a society of young boys.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Rather gross at points. A dark depiction of human nature.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
i read this in school too. getting trapped on an island with a whole bunch of little kids must be veryyy very annoying. and the ending, is too ironic. it kind of dissapointed me that somebody showed up to rescue them at the end in the first place. none of the kids honestly deserved it.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
Morbidly fun to read. It's a great look into the workings of humanity through the eyes of a great writer
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
It's a shame that this book is foisted upon high school students who won't quite get it. Read again when you're older, and a lot more becomes clear (and, in its way, more frightening). Reality really does change with the perspective of years. (No, not opinion... REALITY changes. Trust me.)
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
One must always wonder, why did these boys result as such? So different from the Lost Boys in NeverNever Land?
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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.--Jennifer Hubert--This text refers to an alternatePaperbackedition.
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ISBN-10: 0140283331
ISBN-13: 978-0140283334
Author: William Golding
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
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