Lord of the Flies || A Book Review

Lord of the Flies by William Golding || 3/5

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

  • By terms of symbolic meaning, this book is a masterpiece
    • I love how it portrays humans as savage animals
  • Entertainment-wise, it’s a resounding meh.
  • The pacing is slow.
  • The characters are shallow and two-dimensional. They have one or two defining characteristics, but that’s it. They exist to be symbols, not people.
  • I kept forgetting characters. They all have interchangeable names, especially Roger and Robert.
  • The writing takes some getting used to, but once you get in the flow of it, it’s fine. It doesn’t really stand out, though.
  • The ending was jarring. It didn’t flow from the rest of the book. It’s like, alright, now things have gone too far. Cue madness. Cue chaos. Okay. Let’s end it right now and tie it with a pretty pink bow.
  • It was boring, and I didn’t care about the characters or what happened to them.

4 thoughts on “Lord of the Flies || A Book Review

  1. I completely agree with all your points. It’s an important book, one that merits discussions because it is really philosophical fiction portrayed through kids playing war, but the pacing was poor throughout until the ending when suddenly everything all happened at once and yes, I was on the edge of shouting: “STOP THE MADNESS.” They are more symbolic than characters, each character representing different groups of people in real life. The guy who loves grass and nature and is peaceful doesn’t win survival of the fittest, the chaotic leader is any tyrannical state, our protagonist (can’t remember his name) is law and order and Piggy (funny, how I remembered him) is the voice of reason (science) that is never fully appreciated. It’s interesting to think of and discuss, but the writing made it a difficult read. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Were the characters really shallow and 2-dimensional?
    It’s extremely clear by the book’s resounding success that the author clearly put a lot of thought into writing this book, from it’s meaningful, underlying philosophy of civilization vs savagery and as well it’s carefully crafted setting and plot to reflect this, among a multitude of other philosophies.
    I feel like saying that these characters were shallow would be like calling a story by Hemingway meaningless—you probably didn’t look at it closely enough. Sure, the character’s are symbols, but it’s easily identifiable that that isn’t what they are exactly meant to be. It is clear that they occasionally do something that would go against the symbol that they represent, and that is because they are not merely characters used to represent a deeper meaning but also genuine characters that Godling has put a lot of thought into.
    Take Ralph for example, who, though he may seem boring, is one of the most dynamic characters of the story. He goes from childishly denying that being stuck on an island is a problem and even partaking in the bullying of Piggy, to accepting his problems, realizing that he needs Piggy’s rationality to be rescued, and at the end of the book he’s even defending Piggy. I can easily give an in-depth psychoanalysis of Ralph’s character, as well as Jack’s and Piggy’s.
    This book is definitely hard to digest. The writing is much different from the kind that we teens nowaday read. Back then, the pacing was indeed slower, and typically a LOT more description was used. The book won’t be to your liking if you like obvious, fast, exciting pieces of literature, but I think if you take the time to read every word, understand why Golding put it there, you’ll find that while a typical YA novel of the 21st Century might be a roller-coaster ride, Lord of the Flies is an enchanted forest, giving you freedom to wander through it, in any direction you would like to, and discover it’s mysteries.
    Sorry for the long comment, just felt like I had to defend the book.
    I didn’t like it that much either tbh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Golding definitely put a lot of thought into this story. If you read the book in all its symbolic nature, it truly is a masterpiece. Everything fits together perfectly in relation to the real world and it’s a magnificent commentary on human nature.
      Shallow and two-dimensional are probably not accurate words on my part. What I meant was that I feel the characters were shaped around defining features. For Ralph, it’s his civility, for Piggy, his intelligence, and Jack, his savagery. I felt like they weren’t multi-faceted enough (but to be fair, the book was relatively short). But much more so than the main characters, the minor ones weren’t developed at all. Like Robert and Bill and the various littleluns, etc. It was these names and characters I struggled to remember because they weren’t individualized.
      I read for fun, so I rate my books based on how much fun I had reading them, and I definitely like the roller-coaster rides of the twenty-first century. But while Lord of the Flies may not be the most entertaining book, it achieved its goal (commentary on human nature, in my opinion) very successfully. I greatly appreciate this book and its message.
      And he probably did put a lot more thought into this than the YA novels we all love devouring.

      Liked by 1 person

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