This was one of my picks from my annual Amazon book spree. I called up Amazon to sort out some delivery issues, and as the woman on the other end of the receiver was reciting the book, she gasped with excitement as she read out ‘Lord of the Flies’. So that was my next pick of books.
A group of young school boys find themselves stranded on an Island. They all fight for survival, but as the days pass and desperation looms, actions are taken with lasting consequences, as the true nature of human survival is revealed.
So we are on an island after the plane we were on crashed, by the way there are no grown-ups. That’s right the kids run things. Sounds like fun, at first, but as survival gets tough I began questioning to myself ‘What would I do if I was in this situation’
As I was reading the book I could see the clear comparison Golding was making between the characters and the natural state of humans, I could feel just how raw people can be when they are pushed to the limits, and the choices which are made because of circumstance. I felt Golding shows a hierarchy which automatically develops whenever we, as people, are thrown into a new situation (new school, new job, an dI guess stranded on an island), leaders merge, and followers will follow. What a great idea to use young boys for this story, since they are innocent (enough) and are naturally ‘wild’ (well known to be compared to young girls).
I did feel that the beginning of the story dragged a little, since there was a lot of description of the scenery and I guess Golding was giving us, as the reader the flow of things. We are introduced to the Island and these characters. The slow pace of the book matches the lives of these boys as they are discovering where they are and what to do. I found myself laughing at some of the logic they produced, shaking my head to their behaviour and frustrated at the situation.
We see how a desperate situation makes people take advantage of those less able than themselves as they separate into the ‘bigguns’ and the ‘liluns. We see how power struggles and how ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ (just had to add there), as the ‘leaders’ of this mini civilisation fight to have their voices heard. For a split second it also made me realise that ‘playground behaviour’ is almost always present in ‘grown-up’ life.
Overall I think this is a good read, but in order to enjoy this book you must not take it as it is, there is so much more below the surface which makes the book so great. If you like politics mixed in with philosophy and love a book which makes you think long after you have read it…Lord of the Flies is the book for you.