Let’s Get Literal – Lord of the Flies by William Golding

List Item: Read 100 of the greatest works of fiction
Progress: 31/100Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Year: 1954
Country: UK

Lord of the Flies is another one of those books/comics that I’ve managed finish due to waiting in doctors’ offices. Since this is one of the shortest books that I have on the list I guess I can let that slide.

When I was 12 (Jesus Christ that was 14 years ago) I tried and failed to read this book. It wasn’t anything against the book, I just hadn’t found the joy of reading at that time. I mean most kids of my age got into Harry Potter around that time, but after book three I just wasn’t interested in that either. It was actually thanks to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that I properly got into reading.

In a way, I am quite glad that I did not finish this book. You see, in many ways, I was Piggy. Even the reading this now I can see that if I was dumped onto an island with members of my Year 6 class I would have been Piggy. I think it also helps that I have teaching experience because it helps me appreciate how terrifying of a look at humanity this is. I mean, given all the circumstances this probably could happen the way that he played out.

Now I appreciated this book as an allegorical tale and in terms of character building, but I actually found the style of writing to be fairly laboured at times. I just wanted him to get on with it towards the end because it was very clear how of this book would finish. It isn’t too much of a spoiler to say that the kids are rescued in the end. It’s fairly obvious if you know anything about pop culture. What I loved about the exchange between Ralph and the naval officer is how perplexed the grown up and is. I mean and how could British children resort to such savagery? I may have snorted at that line.

At times it is preachy, but man some of those tragedies sure pack a punch. I thought I knew pretty much everything in this book thanks to cultural osmosis. I’m so glad to say I was wrong. Even if the talking pig took me a bit off guard what it represents is chilling. I also loved how Golding was able to link the conch shell to the goings on in camp. Definitely food for thought this book is.

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