Why You Should Read The Lord of the Flies

Synopsis: A plane crashes on an inhabited island,with only a group of boys being the survivors.If at first they rejoice at the prospect of having an island all for themselves,they quickly realise that they must live in an organized way if they ever want to go back home.As time goes by,they find it harder and harder to abide to the rules of civilization,especially after learning that there is a beast on the island…

What you might like in The Lord of the Flies :

1.The Language
Could The Lord of the Flies be the only novel showcasing English language at its acme?Possibly,yes.The range of vocabulary is mind-blowing and you will encounter words that you most probably have never seen before in a book.Through the means of his flowery language,Golding gives a colourful and accurate account of the boys’ lives on the island and such vividity is the reason for which readers are greatly moved by the events in The Lord of the Flies.

2.The Pace
The story begins rather slowly,but as from the third or fourth chapter,events follow at a very rapid pace.There is no part in the book where things calm down; instead the storyline slowly crescendoes to its climax.For this reason,you will never be bored with that book and will find it hard to put down.

3.The Realism
While teaching at Salisbury,William Golding would divide his pupils into gangs,start a fight and observe the reactions of the boys.So Golding knew what he was writing about in The Lord of the Flies and thus delivered a realistic rendition of human behaviour in this book.Nothing in the story looks absurd,yet no artifice is needed to beautify it.

4.The Intensity
As I said before,adding to the realism pervading through the story is Golding’s vivid language.The presence of these two factors results in your being very sensitive to what happens on the island.The least I can say is that you will feel,to the exact degree,the crescendo of fear that takes place in one of the characters by the end of the story,and that will leave goosebumps on your arms!

5.The ClimaxΒ 
The climax of this book,for me,is one the most memorable and best scenes in literature.William Golding exposes a very crude truth to us,and we cannot help but acknowledge it,as events inside and outside the book give weight to Golding’s words.Also for that very important scene,Golding has selected the best words and the best sentence structures to ensure that this climax will have a lasting impact on his readers.

6.The Structure
The book is divided in about a dozen of chapters,each of which starts slowly before gradually reaching its own climax.By the end of each chapter an incident of major importance to the novel will have occurred,and as a result,you will always want to follow the chain of events and that will lead you to the next chapter.Thus the structure of these chapters is yet another reason why The Lord of the Flies never turns dull to the reader and is so hard to put down.

7.The Allegories.
I’m a huge fan of allegorical stories,and The Lord of the Flies did not disappoint me at all in that respect.Every event in the story is relevant to the allegorical message and some were so subtle that it was a challenge for me to decipher their meanings.What is peculiar with The Lord of the Flies is that it can be interpreted in many ways.Indeed it can be seen as an allegory about war,human psychology or civilization.To this day people are still debating over what the story was meant to allegorize.For my part,I wrote about the novel’s allegorical representation of war,which I find more plausible: here it is.

8.The Size
I just want to point out that the book is not big at all.To give you an idea of its size,it is about the size of To Kill a Mockingbird and could even be smaller.So no matter what kind of reader you are,the size will not be an issue with The Lord of the Flies.

The book was written in 1954,but its age is never felt in the story,not only because of the modern techniques used by William Golding,but also because of the absence of archaic literaryΒ elements.It is timeless and as relevant today as it was years ago.

What you might not like in The Lord of the Flies:

1.The Language
Sure,I said that in The Lord of the Flies,English language was at its acme,but it might be a problem to those who are not much acquainted with English or who are not willing to take a dictionary to check out the definition of the words.

2.Gruesome details
It is natural that with Golding’s vivid narration,the reader will inevitably encounter gruesome details and scenes as he/she is reading the book.There are some very bloody and violent scenes in this book,but one in particular is horrible.This book is not for kids,and if you want to read a lighter and more jovial classic,skip The Lord of the Flies for the time being.

Verdict: It is very unusual that I write so many points about one book,but The Lord of the Flies is a masterpiece for so many reasons.It is a book upon which Golding has put much effort; it is a quick and very intense read; it is perfectly structured and beautifully narrated; its freshness is everlasting; it is unforgettable.But although I cannot find any flaw in it,I can understand some people not liking it for the gruesome details and the flowery English.All in all,this book is among the greatest works of literature and totally deserves to be read whether or not you’re into classics.


29 thoughts on “Why You Should Read The Lord of the Flies”

  1. I’ve had this book on my shelf for months. I started reading it but I wasn’t hooked so I got bored when I found myself rereading parts I had read the night before. It might be time to give it another try now methinks.

    1. I know what you’re talking about!
      As I said it begins very slowly,but as from the 4th chapter,things move a lot faster,as the first tensions among some of the boys start being felt.
      You definitely should reread it! πŸ™‚

    1. Haha,I understand! I too was deeply moved by this scene!
      But you shouldn’t have watched the movie.According to reviews,it is a poor adaptation of Golding’s movie.You should have read the book! πŸ˜‰

  2. I hated Lord of the flies when I read it at school. That was a very long time ago. I have a theory that everyone who reads it at school hates it as the subject resonates so strongly with School kid’s that it all becomes uncomfortable. I may need to re-read it, if I can ever pluck up the courage.

    1. You definitely should re-read it then,even if you know everything that takes place in the story!
      It is highly allegorical and vividly narrated,so I bet you’ll be moved this time and will find a meaning to the story!

      Thanks for commenting! πŸ˜‰
      Much appreciated!

  3. I, too, studied it at school and found it a very uncomfortable read. Though it is a great book and your post reminded me that perhaps I should reread it. Thank you!

    1. Ha,I really thought it was a popular book,but apparently I was mistaken.
      There are two very disturbing scenes in the book: the revelation of the pig-head and Jack’s shoving something in the rectum of a swine.

      I think horrifying the readers was the intended effect of those scenes.It tells you how low people can fall without rules to control them.Also Jack’s horrible behaviour is proof that the pig-head was right in what he told Simon.

      Although I know you’ve read the book,I don’t want to use spoilers as there might still be a chance that you’ve forgotten some things in the story.I really found the book a masterpiece and you should definitely re-read it one day! I will be curious to know the meaning you attach to the story! πŸ˜‰

    1. Ah you should definitely!
      I’m surprised that unlike pretty much everybody who commented here,you didn’t have to study this book at school! Maybe it’s because you’re younger… πŸ˜‰

      When you read it,you should do so till the very end.The book starts rather slowly,but the pace quickens as the story progresses.Otherwise I hope you will like the book,despite the gruesome details in it.The Lord of the Flies was written with the aim to move its readers,so don’t worry if you are quite disquieted after reading it. πŸ™‚

      1. I am young but not that young πŸ˜€ . School these days don’t make us read books like that anymore. Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, and etc. are the options they are giving us. The only reason why I even know about classics is because of my mom and because I assign myself to read them. Otherwise I would never even know what you are talking about.

      2. And I wouldn’t know which book is being the craze of the moment had I not been on wordpress.I only read classics and books nominated for and winners of prestigious literature competitions such as the Booker Prize.

        No disrespect to other books,but I think classics really defined their time and their enduring so many years is proof that they are among the best literature has to offer .So yeah,it’s good that you’re reading them. πŸ™‚

  4. The picture at the top is awesome! I’ve read Lord of the Flies before, and ended up not liking it (I think I didn’t see the necessity of it, or properly linked it to the society we’re living in now). regardless, I understood most of what Golding was on about, and about a year afterwards I became totally enraptured with this book – it is amazing in portraying how this society is – and I’ve got it on my shelf and will re-read it very, very soon.

    1. It’s an illustration from Sam Weber! He was commanded by the Folio Society to do works for Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 21. I own the former and do not regret one bit buying it!

      Lord of the Flies is one of my favourite books.I loved the plot twist,the climax,and the stark realism.I also liked the fact that it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways.(as you can witness,I loved a lot of other things in this book.)

      If you’ve read the comments,you’ll note you’re far from being the only one to have not liked the book upon the first reading! I don’t know why this is so,but Lord of the Flies is not that popular with people,although it is perhaps one of the most-read classics.

      Well I hope you’ll more appreciate the book upon your re-read! πŸ™‚

  5. Just a quick question, in your article, you say that, “While teaching at Salisbury, William Golding would divide his pupils into gangs, start a fight and observe the reactions of the boys.” I was just wondering where you found this because I have done extensive research on William Golding and I have yet to read anything that states this. Thank you.

    1. Oh,thanks for reading this post!
      You can find what Golding did in two articles:
      I believe there are many more articles though. What he did at Salisbury and how he viewed himself were all contained in his private journal. So, any article on the net about Golding’s private diary will tell you some little things you might be unaware of. I hope I helped! πŸ™‚

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