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 :
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 literary elements.It is timeless and as relevant today as it was years ago.
What you might not like in The Lord of the Flies:
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.
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.