Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another one that came out of the shelf cleaning session. It had been recommended to me a coupe of days earlier and had seemed extremely interesting so I took it up almost immediately. This was a paperback as well, an old copy with yellowing pages and the smell of old paper that I love. Tells you how books are a pleasure more than just reading. the electronic reading devices rob you of a lot of pleasures that bound paper provides.

Lord of the Flies was written as a counterpoint to The Coral Island, a Robinsonade where young boys find the civilizing effect of their culture and religion. Golding strongly argues the opposing view; that left to themselves, even civilized men relapse to savagery. “Lord of the Flies” describes a story that the individual’s will surpasses his capacity for reason and culture without an enforcing authority will not survive by itself. The story shows how human ego conflicts build up and how people desire power without bothering about consequences.

The story begins with an unknown number of children having survived a plane crash somewhere in the Pacific. They are stranded on an island somewhere that they know not and slowly discover that they are all on their own. They try to establish order, with Ralph being selected as the leader for his natural disposition and owing to the fact that he had convened the first gathering. Piggy, the reasonable one is persecuted for his fat figure and general lack of physical fitness but Ralph shelters him. Jack, the leader of a school choir group and an older boy, gives in to this chain of command initially but his hunger for power makes him lash out later. While Ralph realises that getting rescued is their best bet for survival, some of the boys mentally give up on such ideas and accept the island life as a finality, slowly forgetting the cultured life that they once led and were brought up in. A “monster” found on the island immediately breaks the group down into factions and all reason is lost when survival and will to power are called to action.

This was the first Golding that I have read and he writing is quite interesting. There was no needless adornment of the words and the book kept itself mostly to the children and their psychologies. There were no unnecessary descriptive paragraphs which made the reading fast paced and the story progressed without dallying without reason. I think I would be willing to pick up another Golding if I come across one.

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