Some novels are written as a counter argument and end up becoming a classic. That is what happened with Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Find out why so many people gravitated towards this classic novel!
Lord of the Flies: Summary
A wartime evacuation goes wrong and a British Aeroplan crashes ner an isolated island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. All the adults die in the crash while all the boys (from middle school to preadolescence) survive. Two of the boys, Ralph, who is fair-haired, and an overweight, bespectacled boy named Piggy are the center of the novel.
Ralph uses a conch that he finds and blows it to gather around all the survivors. Because of this action, Ralph is elected chief by the other boys. But not by Jack and his bandit of older boys. They are allowed to form their own group to hunt.
The three rules that govern this society are to have fun, to survive, and to always have the smoke going. That way, a passing ship will know that there is someone on the island. Lastly, whoever Is holding the conch is the only one able to speak and everyone else has to listen.
Ralph and Piggy find out the hard way that being in charge is not easy. As time passes, Jack and his crew try to usurp Ralph and Piggy, even going to lengths to isolate them. A threat of a monster strikes fear in all of the boys and that leads to chaos. Will any of the boys survive the island and the darkness that is within them?
Ralph made the simple mistake of giving the power of the army to someone else. That is how kings and governments are overthrown. He basically handed Jack the keys by letting him have a hunting unit. I know, I know, they are children and how could he have known but that was just what I first thought of.
This dark tale was Golding’s response to popular novels around that time. He believed that they portrayed stranded children unrealistically and it made him go write his own novel. He predicted the dystopian age of novels by almost 60 years!
I will say that I don’t fully agree or disagree with Golding’s take on the matter. It comes down to the people and circumstances. A situation like that may arise or it may be avoided with calmer heads. All I will say is that Golding’s approach of using fear was accurate. That is what makes people do dumb things and forget rationality and common sense.
Lord of the Flies is a timeless classic that is still read to this day. I enjoyed it and I will be revisiting this novel down the line. Have you read this novel or do you plan to?