This is a story of young boys marooned on an island in what appears to be wartime. They’re left to their own devices and immediately form up a few plans to survive on this island.
But with time, comes disdain or laziness for the rules. And with that disdain, comes a need to play and be free, free of pesky rules. Thus, as the smarter boys know exactly what they need to do to survive and get themselves rescued, the more dominant boys do what the alpha jocks tend to do, and that’s anything they damn well please.
By the end of the book, whatever structure that was attempted ends up breaking down via their actions and results and the base desires of the group is what feeds the action.
Lord of the Flies is a sad and frustrating read as you watch this group of young boys sort out what they need to do to survive. And then slowly, fracture apart from the initial solidarity.
It found it odd that the one easy thing they needed to do, which was maintain a signal fire, slowly instigated the downfall of the tribe, as the boys slid into wild anarchy.
This book can be a tough read as there’s much symbolism evoked in words. It’s understood that you will get what is meant and sometimes, between the symbolism and the fanciful mentality of the young boys, it keeps you on your toes trying to decipher what’s up.
Through it all, you keep hoping for something logical to take place and set the kids right, and yet, you forget we’re talking about kids. Kids who can break out into mirth in the middle of an important task. It was like a serious bout of ADD on the island.
This book assaults everything you think should be right about things and keeps assaulting you, page after page. So be prepared to not be prepared. Then, when you give up, well, I’ll leave that to you to figure out.
But one thing’s for sure, Golding’s observation on the nature of humans is a scary one. Considering the social strife we witness time and time again when some form of a disaster hits and what people tend to do.
Lord of the Flies is a pretty heavy, but once done, I think is well worth the read!