Hating on Lord of the Flies

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My brother routinely calls me ‘The Destroyer of the Classics’ because everytime I start to read a book that’s described as a classic, I’m always disappointed with it. Well, at least the majority of the time (My favourite is To Kill a Mockingbird because Harper Lee is a genius).

I’m ashamed to say it but it has taken me over six months to get through Lord of the Flies but I was adamant that I was going to finish it simply because I’d started it (I’m stubborn like that). This was definitely added to my list of books I was disappointed with. I knew the concept of the book before I started reading it. Young boys, stranded on an island, end up turning on each other blah blah blah. I was SO excited to read this because I thought it was going to be gruesome, a book all about the hunt and that is right up my alley. Sadly, this wasn’t really the case.

The book started with the boys being stranded on the island and a leader is elected because they believe themselves to be from a civilised society and believe it is needed. First of all, it’s a little frustrating that girls are completely excluded from this story. I think I would have liked to see how some female influence would have helped the story along a little.

Anyway, as the story goes on, we see the characters develop and change a lot from the people they appeared to be when they first landed on the island. I understand that the dark symbolism of the book displays the loss of innocence with these young boys and it poses the question of what the human race is actually capable of when they leave ‘civilised society’. I think it’s a topic that is interesting to explore but what frustrated me about the book was how long it actually took to get into the stage where the boys began to REALLY turn on each other. We didn’t seem to experience this part of the story for perhaps as long as I felt would have liked. But maybe that’s just me liking all the gory parts of stories. Who knows.

The ending seemed to come completely out of nowhere though! One minute the boys are being hunted and then BOOM then are magically being rescued and taken off to a navy cruiser. Although this suggests the state of the world the boys are actually in and is meant to symbolise a wider world meaning within the book, I felt like it came to a really drastic end. Maybe it’s a metaphor for how quickly life can change. I have no idea.

I’ve read in a few places that this book always comes up on a list of books that parents think should be banned from schools. Despite hating it because this book isn’t really my style, I think it has some important questions posed within it about basic human behaviour and instincts. I know it would have sparked fabulous debates in my high school English Class anyway.

I really hoped that my question of how they got there in the first place would be answered. But it wasn’t and that kind of bugged me. All the way through I was wondering where did they come from? How are they all travelling together and don’t know each other? Why are they travelling? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

I would love to know what other people thought about the book. So please drop me a comment if you’ve read it and have any opinions. Maybe I’ll read it again and see if my opinion changes in the next attempt…….

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5 comments

  1. I was blown away reading it a couple of years ago. It shows how law and order is needed for a just society in a way. The ending is an absolute farce, it’s so out of place with the rest of the book!

    1. yeah i agree he’s definitely trying to show why we need law and order. I’d like to have a bit more faith in humanity than that though but maybe I’m a tad optimistic

      1. Don’t worry, if all else fails a captain will appear out of no where to save the day….

  2. Great article! Here’s my take on your unanswered questions: I don’t think it matters who the boys are, where they came from, or why they were traveling. The only thing that matters is the situation they are in on the island and that situation’s metaphorical significance to the rest of society.

    1. I guess that makes sense, I never really thought about it like that before! thanks for your comment and for reading my blog!

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