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The literature paints a terrifying story of a group of boys' struggle to survive on an isolated island.
The plot was unique and one of a kind. The story was choked with symbolisms that will let you see the truth of humanity when pushed to the limits. There was hardly a slow moment in the book. It was fast-paced and breath taking. The savagery and desperation of the boys trying to survive made a quick and great read. Symbolism and leadership plays a large part in Lord Of The Flies. It tells a story about the incluence of fear and the unknown. The end of innocence for the children. Absolutely priceless; the story of the century!
The characters really made the story come to life. They are unique and add an extra depth to the book. They are symbols of the whole of humanity and the "truth" about human-kind.
Overall, Lord Of The Flies is one of the best classics in the history of the world! This book features well-rounded characters, and a thrilling plot.
I first read this book towards the end of primary school, again when I first started university and finally about a year ago. I would not normally review a book so long after reading it, but this one remains fresh in my mind, having not only read the book itself a few times, but also several references to it in other works, so after a quick speed read through the contents I'll give it my best. This is one of those books that truly is timeless. The fact that it was printed in 1954 is completely irrelevant. It could just as easily take place today - human nature does not change. What makes this book so relevant, whether in 1954, 2012 or at any date in the future is the fact that the author has so completely captured human nature - the good and the bad in all of us. This is one of those books I feel that everyone should read at least once.
The book begins with a fair haired boy alone on a beach - he is soon joined by another and they begin discussing their situation. It seems their plane was attacked but we aren't really given any details. What we do know is that only children are left. The fair haired boy is Ralph, his companion a chubby asthmatic with thick glasses will never be known by any name other than Piggy. Ralph is content enough to enjoy a swim, but Piggy is more practical, finding a conch shell and getting Ralph to use it to attract other survivors. They blow on the shell and soon children begin to stream from the jungle. On the surface, the main text of the story will be about the children's attempts to survive, create their own society and attempt to attract a ship for rescue. The real story is in the struggles between the characters, fear of the unknown ( the beast) and human nature. William Goulding was under no illusions about the innocence of childhood and captures human nature at a primeval level here.
The author seems to tie physical characteristics and moral ones into one in many cases. Ralph is blond, good looking and well built - the typical golden child. He seems to be a natural leader and quickly wins the election for chief. Jack is ginger haired - a common stereotype for a brawler and ugly as if his inner violence has found expression on his face. When I first read the book I thought of Jack as evil. Later I see him only as volatile, action oriented and impulsive - but with a streak for cruelty under the influence of rage. Roger on the other hand is dark, thin and furtive as if deceit and sneakiness is apparent in his physique as well. Simon's face is partially covered by his hair -he is shy - withdrawn - different but he represents a kind of innocence. Only Piggy has physical appearance which does not fully match his inner personality. Piggy is the most intelligent, and perhaps the glasses fit the stereotype too, he is easy to overlook as insignificant, and outsider, but there is more to Piggy than outward appearances. It is Piggy who is behind most of Ralph's leadership decisions - he has the intelligence to be the leader, but the not the strength of body or personality - instead he is only the advisor to the king.
Ralph, Jack and Piggy are the three central characters. They have often been compared to the Id , the Ego and the Super-Ego in Freudian psychology. I am not certain if Goulding intended it this way or not - but I do feel this is a perfect description of them - which is why this book is often cited in psychology texts and lectures. Piggy is the Super-Ego voice of reason - the conscience and the moral guidance for this trio. He is the one who looks to the future, realising they can not live forever on ths island - he seeks to encourage their rescue through the burning of a signal fire. Jack is clearly the Id - the voice of impulse, recklessness, action and energy. Just as the Id is the impulse to meet basic needs and desires - Jack is provides the impulse to meet their most basic need - meat but as well as his own desire for power. He isn't completely evil in my opinion, but like a a raging inferno - he can be destructive and once started is very hard to rein in.
Ralph finally is the Ego, the balance between the two. Freud once said :"The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and it has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three... The three tyrants are the external world, the superego, and the id." * Likewise poor Ralph tries to balance the demands of Jack and Piggy as well as the harsh reality of their situation. He sees the need to keep the fires burning, to build shelters and mind the smaller children - but he also longs to join in the wild hunt with Jack. The conflict between these characters represents the conflict within us all.
In addition to being used to illustrate the Freudian theory of personality, The Lord of the Flies is also used to illustrate facets of human social psychology such as the bystander effect - a situation where people fail to help another in need when others are present and not rendering aid. This personality quirk is well documented but not universal - there are always some who will go against this. There are several other themes you can find in this - fear of the unknown, the value of friendship, appreciating others, inclusion and exclusion, responsibility and growing up.
Most of all though - I feel this book perfectly illustrates mob mentality - the ability to do horrible things we would never do on our own. There is a contagious nature to violence and people do get swept away by it. Within the mob people lose their sense of self and become part of some much larger. I believe a part of every human longs for just this - a sense of tribal identity - being part of group. Fuelled by prejudices, hatred or even simple anger and frustration the mob vitality can catch otherwise normal people up in the heat of the moment who react with unleashed fury on their victim - or the other. In the book the children fear the beast and this fear grows with each passing day as their imaginations create something more and more horrific. If I remember correctly though, and I may be wrong here - one of the boys suggests at one point they could be themselves be the beast.
Finally - the author is meant to have been influenced by the horrors of the second world war. I think this book provides and allegory for politics as well. Whatever we believe is right or wrong - it is easy to drift over to the side of extremism when this side can meet our basic needs ( meat), provide protection from a greater evil ( the beast) , and simply being part of the group can prevent you from being a target for the group - at least most of the time.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. It combines exceptionally well crafted characters with a brilliant plot and has so many layers, I feel as if I could take something new from this book every time I read it. I certainly will be reading it again soon - my copy is missing two pages so I'll have to buy a new one for my son, as he has shown some interest in it. If anyone knows of an illustrated edition that doesn't cost an extortionate amount please send me a message but if not I may just memorise the text and tell it at night with my own added descriptions.
*http:// psychology.about.com/ od/ psychologyquotes/ a/ freudquotes.htm
Lord of the Flies is actually quite a lot older than I though it was. Written in 1954, it was author William Golding's first novel. At the time he wrote this he was also working as a teacher, which probably greatly influenced his book from observing behaviour of children.
I was familiar with the plot to the story as I have seen a film adaptation probably about 20 years ago now, but I have only recently got round to reading the novel. The copy I picked up was from the library, and the cover on this is really dated. The title is written in a typed font designed to look a bit like Italic handwriting. There is then a series of swirls in red and brown that look like they have been done with fingers, which I interpret to be the stripes of paint worn by some of the children in the novel.
The plot to this is still highly relevant today, although I do feel that what dates this novel is the way that the children talk to each other, and also the names of some of the children are not common names nowadays, so there is a bit of an old fashioned feel to it. Children today also have the influence of technology, and are unlikely to have the type of books as reference material to read as the main character Ralph in the novel.
The plot is quick to start. After a plane crash, a group of boys aged between 6 and about 12 find themselves alone on a deserted island. There is no indication where this island is, but it is surrounded by sea, and has a fairly tropical climate, with reference to coral reefs visible from the mountains on the island. The island seems a place to explore, with dense forest areas and mountains, with strange fruits.
In the absence of any adult, a boy called Ralph takes charge, calling the boys to order with a blast on a conch shell he found in the water. He is advised by one of the other boys, we only ever get to know as Piggy (because he is large) that they need to try and establish some order until the adults come. Together they set about building shelter, finding food and making a fire to act as a signal for any passing ships so they can be rescued.
There is tension in the group from the start, as early on they realise that there are dangers about if they don't try and take care of themselves. What starts off as a bit of an adventure becomes desperation. One of the older boys, Jack, becomes obsessed with trying to hunt wild pig so that they have food, and this causes great conflict between the group as they neglect the fire and the other needs that they have in the thrill of the hunt. Ralph sees it as some of the boys are just playing, and they need to focus if they will ever be rescued.
There is a sense of time passing, and as the boys become more matted with dirt, and weary from eating mainly fruit, a savageness begins to creep into some of their attitudes. The island becomes a very dangerous place to be.
I don't want to say any more about the plot as I think it would then spoil others enjoyment of the story. This is quite a short book by modern standards, at only 225 pages long, but there is easily as much packed into this story as any modern adventure. While I was initially aware of the old fashioned aspect of this, as the story progresses, you forget that these are children in the 50s with stiff school uniforms and stiff upper lips, and you concentrate on the adventure in the forest. At first this is a bit of a game for them, but as time progresses, there becomes an eery desperation for these children, and a horror at how feral they start to become when left with no adult supervision. The lack of morals shown by one or two children starts to become almost a pack mentality like wild animals. Its hard to imagine modern children being as resourceful at finding food and creating fire.
The author chooses to only develop some characters fully, while other children are little characters in the background who you don't get to know at all. The focus is mainly on the older children who are taking on the adult roles in this society that is forming. Sometimes names were mentioned, and I had a job thinking to myself who that person was in the plot as it didn't feel that clear to me. I don't know if this was mimmicking the confusion of the children living in this isolated place away from their families.
I found quiet a lot of the behaviour especially the bullying of the fat boy, Piggy, very hard to read. I just wanted one character to stand up and say, come on, that is enough, but this would have not fit so neatly in the story.
This is a novel I am glad I made the time to read. I think it is the sort of book I would read only once, but it was a worthwhile use of my time, and left me quite contemplative after I had finished it. It is hard going at points compared to modern fiction as the author uses a wide vocabulary, some of which is not common place today, so I had to think as I read sometimes to work out what he was trying to say. I feel the story would still engage readers now, but some of it is unfortunately starting to date. Not bad for a book that was written nearly 60 years ago though.
Lord of the Flies was William Golding's first novel. Initially a relative flop, with a discontinued print after a measly 3000 sales, it took less than a decade for a revival to make it one of the better selling novels of its time, and a regular appearance in the GCSE syllabus, with its notions of children trying to govern themselves resulting in failure proving to be something people would like children to know about. Although my wife had to read it at school at therefore has a different perspective on it, I read it by choice, and much more recently.
It's a very well written book that sees a group of children marooned on a desert island in the midst of an undisclosed form of war. Published in 1954, this could reference either of the World Wars, or it could be a manifestation of the fears of nuclear war that were so real at this time. We first meet Ralph and Piggy, the former a tall and well built boy with natural leadership skills, the latter an allergy ridden fat boy with glasses and a tendency to winge ... a lot! This contrast prevents a natural friendship from forming, and when others arrive and join, Piggy soon becomes the object of nervousness, manifested in jeers and fun poking.
When a group of choirboys, led by Jack, joins, we have our second leader type, and this is where the psychological battles begin. They soon decide on the need for a leader and elect Ralph as he was the first to call them all together with a conch Piggy found on the beach. As the story develops, Jack's rebellious nature and preference to hunting the boar on the island as opposed to focusing on the sensible option of rescue by creating a smoky fire creates an inevitable rift.
Golding's way of writing is very clever. We get to see things mainly from Ralph and Piggy's perspectives, although it's all in the third person. The conflict between Ralph and Jack never really sways towards supporting Jack, as his way is the more rebellious and turns to savagery. This starts with the slaughtering of a pig that they catch for meet, but soon descends and becomes less civilised as the book develops. Ralph is an easy person to relate to and side with, while Jack is naturally the sort that many would frown upon. However, you can see the appeal of someone who promotes eating well and having fun above all else, especially when you consider that these are boys who aren't even teens yet and their main focus will be on enjoying life, that element of their lives having not been driven away by maturity quite just yet!
But it's Piggy who's the more memorable character, I found. His snivelling and complaining becomes somewhat grating, even if his superior intellect is the one often found speaking sense. Comparisons can be made between the pigs the boys hunt on the island and Piggy himself, the squealing and whining as well as the boy's physical appearance drawing natural mental comparisons as you're reading the book. I found it incredibly easy to visualise things, moreso where Piggy was concerned, and it's only his perceived weakness in confidence and allergies and size that means no one listens to him until it's too late. The savagery and nastiness that can manifest without any comprehension of the damage this sort of bullying can do is everywhere at times, and what is initially blissful innocence with flippant emotions soon becomes a complete loss of innocence, and displays the potential of evil in everyone.
Thoroughly well written, easy to picture in your head and one to savour and enjoy as long as you read it slowly, it's a clever exploration into the juvenile psyche, and really makes you question everything we take for granted in society, the order of things as well as the existence of some others. I can't believe I have only recently read it, it seems as if almost everyone I know read it ages ago. I can see why it is so widely used as you could draw conclusions in all manner of ways from most elements of it. The chapters are well split up and chart the progression of change in feelings, swings in dominance and the development of character. There are some crude moments and it's certainly not for the faint of heart at times, but it's certainly something I'd recommend and also one that deserves its place in the recent top 100 books of all time list that was released on World Book Day. Great book.
I first read lord of the flies in my English class as it is part of the
literature exam, I am not a big reader so I wasn't best pleased
about having to read it, but once i started reading, I couldn't stop.
Beginning of book.
The beginning of the book starts off with a bunch of school boys
becoming stranded on an island. The boy's ages range from around
6 to 13. All seems normal at the beginning, the boys start to build
civilisation, assigning 'Ralph' as chief, a fat boys name as 'piggy'
and starting to hunt for food. They figure out how to start a fire by
using piggy's glasses and from then onwards the fire becomes a giver
of hope for the boys as they resemble the fire and smoke as being rescued.
Main points- if you are planning on reading the book it is best not to read this as it may spoil it for you.
As the book goes on the boys characters develop in the book, Golding
provides detail and allows you to get to know each character
individually. As the days go on in the island, the boys mental state
starts to deteriate, a tribe is formed and all of the boys are convinced
there is a beast in the forest however are unsure what this beast is.
The book slowly develops and shows you what humanity is like when
put in a situation with no rules and no civilisation.
Golding highlights the true savage we have in us and what 'beasts'
we can all be. The island starts to divide and the tribe become overwhelmed
excitement and savage and end up murdering 'Simon' a good willed
character within the book. Ralph and piggy begin to realise the savage
building in the island and just want to go home. When the tribe steal their fire,
mayhem kicks off and Ralph piggy and two other characters confront
the tribe and it ends up with piggy falling off a cliff and dying. Golding
describes the death in detail which adds emphasis to the true savage
of the children. When Ralph is isolated by the rest of the group, the
tribe decide to hunt Ralph and end up setting fire to the whole island.
The book ends with Ralph and the tribe getting onto the sand and a
rescue boat has come for them. At this point they realise the true evil
which has occurred on the island.
My views on the ending
I found the ending of the book a big disappointment as Golding has
spent a lot of time building up a solid format of characters and storyline
and i feel it really lowers the standard of the book.
First Few Points.
Cost: £3.99 or something in the region of that price.
Author: William Golding.
First published: 1954
What is 'Lord of the Flies'?: A pig's head on a stick that represent's evil.
About the author: William Golding
Golding attended Marlborough Grammar school. His father was a teacher there. Golding was very much so interested in psychology and liked to read adventure stories. He attended Oxford university and studied Natural sciences and English literature. He became a teacher at a school in Salisbury and had spent those years with many young boys, therefore claiming he knew them with awful precision. In 1940, he joined the navy and served on board HMS Galatea in the north Atlantic. He was shocked at the destruction and injury caused by war and discovered how savage people could be towards each other. He then left and wrote Lord of the Flies, which at first was called 'Strangers from Within', at least ten publishers rejected it before Faber and Faber agreed to publish it. By the end of his life, he had written 14 novels that were published and he won the Booker Prize in 1980. In 1983 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature and was later knighted in 1988, four years before his death, by the Queen.
Synopsis of the book - detailed.
Chapter One - The Sound of the Shell.
The book is about a group of schoolboys who're left stranded on a remote island after a plane crash. As they one by one come out of the jungle onto the beach, they increase the excitement of the island, with a good humored and positive atmosphere. A bunch of choir boys arrive also, led by a confident boy - Jack. The group realise there are no adults on the island. They find a conch shell, which one character, Ralph, decides to blow. It becomes their symbol of order and helps them gather for their first meeting. They hold an election for chief and Ralph is chosen because he is seen as a natural leader. The decision is excepted by the entire group, even by Jack, despite wanting to be the leader himself. Ralph, Jack and Simon go off to explore, enabling themselves to find out more about their surroundings - climbing on top of a mountain, realising that once they are at the top, they can see clearly that they're on an island. Although, we think that the boys are all happy and excited, we can see hints of conflict from the beginning - Piggy, a fat character, is intimidated when Jack arrives with his choir, Jack soon starts picking on Piggy and calling him 'Fatty'. Piggy gets excluded from the group and gets told to shut up because he is talking too much. He gets upset with Ralph, because Ralph told the group to call him 'Piggy'. Jack also gets angry and humiliated when he isn't automatically made chief. There are also some signals of danger in this chapter, however the chapter is mainly optimistic. The boys feel like they are in an adventure story and the group are quickly organised and confident that they are going to be rescued.
Chapter Two - Fire on the Mountain.
The group have another meeting and Ralph is surprised to find that he is able to speak up confidently to the group and explains that they are to take care of themselves, they will use the conch to take it turns to speak and he says it is a 'good island' and that they will have fun here. Jack tries to claim that the conch does not count on top of the mountain, but Ralph is quick to overrule him. First signs of fear begin to show, the littluns say they saw a snake-like beast in the night that turned into a creeper when daylight returned, Jack offers to hunt this beast down - making himself seem brave. Although, Ralph tries to explain that there can be no such thing as the beast, but it isn't easy to persuade the group to believe that he is right. Ralph suggests that the group should create a fire, to focus on the idea of rescue - not their fear of the unknown. This idea seems to make the group feel a lot better and Jack snatches Piggy's glasses to light their fire, but Ralph gives them back. Piggy however, is not as carried away as the others are - he is quick to remind them that nobody knows they're on the island, and is disgusted when everybody runs off to create the fire, yet he is the first one to realise that the fire is out of control - it kills a small child and already Piggy notices that the group is showing their first signs of savage.
Chapter Three - Huts on the Beach.
Jack is determined to kill a pig, he behaves like a hunter and carries a sharp stick looking for signs of pig tracks and sniffing the air. He throws his spear at a pig, but misses, leaving him fuming in frustration. However, Ralph decides to deal with fear in a different way, because he is also frustrated. He
Pictures of Lord of the Flies - Ian Gregor
Pigs Head - resembles Lord of the Flies.
builds the shelters and his only help is from Simon. Ralph's main focus remains being rescued quickly, but Jack is now convinced that he must kill a pig before he can focus on being rescued. The differences between Jack and Ralph begin to become more obvious towards the group. Jack chooses not to listen to Ralph and they argue about their different priorities, and they discover that people aren't always what you think they are. The argument does eventually blow over, but only just - they agree to disagree but don't really understand each other. Simon goes off into the forest by himself and helps the littluns by picking fruit for them, he then finds a peaceful and calm place in the forest where he hides himself - this chapter has a religious and calm imagery and Simon blends in with his surroundings, listening to all the different sounds.
Chapter Four - Painted Faces and Long Hair.
In this chapter, violence begins to appear. The littluns have nightmares in the dark and are just left to play on their own in the day time. Jack paints a mask onto his face and is very pleased with the effect that it has, he believes that he is capable of doing anything and starts to boss the others about, the mask scares some of the group and gives signs that Jack's powers are increasing. One significant part of the chapter, is that Ralph, Simon and Piggy see a ship, but see no smoke from their signal fire - the ship then disappears into the distance and they up to the mountain to find that no one is looking after the fire and it was left to go out by the hunters. Jack turns up with a dead pig and is proud that he had killed one, plus very keen to tell his story. Ralph is furious that they missed the first chance of rescue since they had been on the island and believes it is Jack's fault. Jack's response to the criticism, results in violence - he hits Piggy and breaks his glasses, which is a sign that Piggy's logical way of thinking, is becoming less important. However, Jack manages to get everybody else back on his side, by apologising to Ralph, he then organises the others to rebuild the fire and distributes the meat that he had got earlier when he was hunting.
Chapter Five - Beast from Water.
Ralph starts realising that things are going wrong, he thinks back to the time when the group were innocently exploring. He appreciates Piggy for the way that he can think and Ralph reminds the group of how important the fire, shelters and water is and he lets the group know that he knows they are all frightened. Jack then calls the littluns babies and sissies for being frightened, telling the group that he knows that the beast does not exist. Piggy steps in, reassuring everyone that life is too scientific for the beast to exist, adding that the only thing to fear is people. The talk of the beast makes the group feel uneasy and everybody has an opinion regarding the subject, all explaining their own experiences about the beast, or what they believe it to be - at this point, the majority of the group believe in the beast. Also, the rules of the conch are becoming less meaningful and nobody seems to mind when Jack speaks without holding the conch, interrupting Piggy. When Ralph attempts to remind Jack of the rules, he just responds with a blunt, 'Who cares?'. Piggy and Simon are then left to pick up the pieces and persuade Ralph that they need him as chief, they believe that Ralph will protect them and the three boys agree that they're in desperate need for some adults to help them out.
Chapter Six - Beast from Air.
While the group is asleep, the body of a dead airman parachutes down from an aircraft battle above the island, wedged within the rocks at the top of the mountain, close to the signal fire. Sam and Eric are the first to spot this dead parachutist and are convinced they have seen the beast, immediately waking up Ralph and Piggy - who then call an assembly to let the twins tell their story - with exaggerations. Everyone has different opinions on how to handle the beast and Jack asks to track the beast, as a proven hunter. But then, Ralph, Simon and Jack all set off to track the beast down. Jack eagerly treks off ahead of them, wanting to show off. They reach Castle Rock and Jack believes that it will be a good place for a fort, imagining violently defending all of the enemies, although Ralph disagrees, thinking it would be a bad idea. Ralph insists that they go back to relight the signal fire and although Jack doesn't want to, he agrees with Ralph and then begins to lead the rest of them back.
Chapter Seven - Shadows and Tall Trees.
Ralph thinks about his position on his way back and feels insecure about not being as brave or strong as Jack is and realises that he will have to prove somehow that he is. Ralph joins Jack's hunt and gets carried away. When his spear hits a pig, he feels strange and excited and starts to understand that hunting can be very appealing. He feels that he has earnt a new respect and this contrasts with his previous acts of innocence. Ralph then tries to take charge, although Jack makes it difficult for him to do so, challenging Ralph's decisions, hinting that he is a coward. Ralph then asks Jack why he hates him, yet Jack cannot answer. He also behaves in a disobedient way when Ralph asks everyone to go back to beach and Jack goes up the mountain to look for the beast. Jack is soon to come rushing back, shocked and afraid, explaining that he saw something. Ralph and Roger, both terrified, go back with Jack to check what he had seen and they see something, (the parachutist) - but are certain from this point on that the best is real.
Chapter Eight - Gift for the Darkness.
The boys report to the group on what they saw - claiming that the best had teeth and big black eyes. Ralph feels defeated because now he is unable to return to the signal fire, because he is frightened of the beast. However, Piggy suggests that they move the signal fire onto the beach, therefore avoiding the beast - they agree that it is a good idea and start to rebuild the fire. Without election, Jack declares himself chief of a small group who follow him, he says that this group are going to hunt and enjoy themselves. They cut pigs' throats and smear the blood onto their faces. Jack sticks a pigs head onto a stick which is sharpened at both ends, as a gift for the beast. Ralph feels scared because he thinks only himself and Piggy still seem to care about the rescue. He decides to call an assembly, but the others have little concentration because they're thinking about hunting and meat. Towards the end of the chapter, Simon finds the pigs head that Jack had left as an offering for the beast. It seems to talk to him, although it is possible that Simon is hallucinating. But, the pig's head threatens Simon, warning him that he better not try to spoil its fun.
Chapter Nine - A View to a Death.
A storm is brewing and Simon climbs up the mountain. When he reaches the top of it, he discovers that the beast is just a dead airman and sets off to tell the others that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, and that they shouldn't have been scared of the beast, because it was non-existent. Ralph and Piggy are left alone, whilst the others are having a feast, lead by Jack. When Ralph and Piggy arrive, Jack orders some of the others to take the meat to give to them both. Ralph tries to claim that he is still chief, but Jack assures Ralph that the conch does not count at this part of the island and then distracts everybody hunting dance, which even Piggy and Ralph join in with. An unrecognisable figure stumbles into the ring of boys and although it is Simon, nobody realises that it is him. They believe it is the best and they fall on him, tearing him to death.
Chapter Ten - The Shell and the Glasses.
Ralph now realises that Jack has far more power on the island, despite the fact that he is chief. Piggy claims that killing Simon was an accident and wont take responsibility for being involved, although Ralph feels responsible and is appalled at what they did, realising the evil that they are all capable of. Jack's tribe go to Castle Rock and have balanced a boulder on a lever as a defensive weapon. Jack reassures his followers that they had killed the beast in disguise the night before, but the beast can never be truly killed - it is unpredictable and may come back. They need fire and plan to steal Piggy's glasses, because that is the only thing that can make a fire. Meanwhile, Ralph's group are all tired and depressed, struggling to remember why the fire is so important. Ralph wakes up from a nightmare and Piggy thinks that they will go mad if they do not get rescued for much longer. They are interrupted by Jack and Roger who push down their shelter to snatch Piggy's glasses. Ralph is surprised that they didn't take the conch, because he doesn't realise that Jack has no interest in it and his society works in a much different way.
Chapter Eleven - Castle Rock.
Piggy can hardly see and they are unable to light their own fire and when Ralph blows the conch to call his group for an assembly, he realises that it has become much less important. They decide to go to Jack's tribe and ask for Piggy's glasses back, because 'right's right.' When they arrive, Jack's tribe throw small stones and rocks and challenge Ralph with spears. When Ralph blows the conch, nobody responds and their is a strong sense of danger and hostility. When Ralph demands the glasses back, Jack refuses. He calls Jack a swine and the tribe cheer excitedly at the violence. Piggy stands up and asks them if they would rather have rules and agreements or hunting and killing. In the silence, Roger levers a rock off the cliff and it smashes down onto Piggy, killing him and destroying the conch. Without Piggy or the Conch, Ralph realises that he is entirely alone and he flees for his life.
Chapter Twelve - Cry of the Hunters.
Ralph can sense that Jack is unable to leave him in peace and he wants to believe that Piggy's death was an accident, but he knows that it wasn't. Ralph runs from Jack and his tribe and hides in the dark, gnawing at the meat that he was given. Jack's tribe start a fire to smoke Ralph from his hiding place and they sweep the island in a line to capture him, he feels like a hunted pig. The fire spreads across the whole of the island and Ralph cannot control himself any longer, so he breaks out of his hiding place and runs as fast as he can, desperate to get away from the tribe. Everybody runs straight into the path of a naval officer on the beach, the fire that was supposed to smoke out Ralph, actually attracted a ship. At first, the naval officer tries to imagine that it was like a adventure story for the group and that it was just fun and games, although when Ralph tells him that two boys have been killed, he is very shocked. He sees Jack as a little boy and almost instantly, Jack's power has gone. Ralph breaks down in tears and cries for Piggy - who he realises was a good friend. He also cries because he's lost his innocence and has found evil inside every person.
My Views Upon The Story;
For me, it was essential that I had to read this book, because of some course work that I was doing. Admittedly, although the story line is very well planned and clever, I found the book very hard to get into and I thought it was easy for me to lose concentration. I really like the whole plot and think that it was very relevant to the time that it was written in and William Golding understands the roles of young boys very well, making good and clear references to civilised behaviour and also savage behaviour alike. I only really got into the story when the dead airman landed on top of the mountains, although before I read the book, I had watched the film - so I think that gave me an idea of what was going on, so I was familiar with everything that was happening vaguely within the novel. I would recommend this book, yet I realise that it isn't going to be something for everyone. If you like adventure stories, then it is most likely to be more suited for you? However, this was my first adventure story that I had read and I experienced empathy for two of the characters, Ralph and Piggy, and I found myself determined to finish the book.
He is the easiest character to admire, a natural leader who thinks ahead and concentrates on the more sensible things that need to be done. Some of his best traits are being caring, determined, honest and fair. He is a strong believer in Law and Order and wants the group to become organised. However, he isn't always perfect and can get involved of laughing at people, conveying that he is capable of hurting others. Throughout the novel, at many points he has shown signs of being a savage and furthermore, he doesn't always think straight, especially towards the end of the novel when he realises that the society does not rely on organisation, getting rescued or the conch. His emotions change a lot and he begins on the island as an excited and confident young boy who has confidence in his father rescuing them all. This turns into disappointment, followed by weariness and insecurities, concluding with despair when he realises that his innocent view of a fair and decent world is lost forever.
His appearance makes him a comical figure to the other boys and others don't take him seriously - leaving the boys to snigger and jeer at him. Some of his best traits are being sensible, logical, loyal and organised, however - he is extremely vulnerable which seems to override all of the positively based traits. He is kind natured and is too logical to have a sense of humour and he could sometimes be seen as the one to stop everyone from having fun, but he is always the one to keep them all in order and no matter how much he feels left out, he is always there for the group. He has important insights about people and also judges them correctly, before he even gets to know the group. Yet despite all his intelligence, he is still ignored for his thoughts and only recognised for his weight and appearance. At the end of the novel, when he is standing up for his civilised values, he feels brave - but Piggy being brace and standing up for himself quickly results in death.
Jack is a very power-hungry character who is controlling and very used to being a leader. He is naturally violently aggressive and some of his traits include arrogance, ruthlessness and violence. His violence is open and deliberate and he tries to make up rules which suit himself. He prefers fun to responsibilities and thinks he should be chief, but doesn't take the responsibility for the well-being of others like a good chief should, hence why Ralph was chosen. Obsessed with hunting, he is the only character who had been determined to kill a pig throughout the whole novel - he is most enthusiastic about hunting and cares more for it than being rescued. He doesn't care about the weaker boys on the island and is very sarcastic towards them all, but is eager to show off to them all and is also enthusiastic about their ceremonial chant. His strong sense of pride is criticised which only results in him becoming aggressive and he enjoys taunting people for being afraid.
He is kind and helpful, with his best traits being thoughtful, perceptive, solitary, unconventional and courageous. He supports Ralph and tries to help him and receive Ralph's appreciation, which he is successful at. He likes to go off on his own and often wanders around in the dark alone, he looks for the beast by himself. He is a shy character and struggles to be able to express himself and hates talking in an assembly, resulting in the others laughing at him for being a coward. His behaviour is strange and he is physically weak, a very skinny frame. Simon could represent a figure like Jesus in the book, someone who is always making a foreseeing announcement. He dies because he is attempting to tell the others the truth and they are rejecting it and the conversation which happened between him and the Lord of the Flies can be related to a confrontation between good and evil. His death is horrific, killed by his groups' bare hands and their teeth. This shows what even the most decent human beings can be capable of doing.
Overall, I would be willing to read this book again and could quite easily review this book in much more detail, regarding the themes, structure and language also. If you're wanting to read that, (because I have probably bored you already!) then I can edit the review and make it much longer. This book is no doubt unsettling, but it is a really good book with a meaningful moral, which addresses the issues that we all have come across at some point in our lives and that is: all innocence can result to evil. It was bound to happen, an island of young boys with no idea when they're going to rescued. That realisation only occurred when Ralph ran into the naval officer, before then many of the boys were in denial and didn't dare think to stop what they were doing. I think that the characters all together would have made a very well structured and well organised island, however, the situation that they were left in and the rivalry and judgement that quickly occurred, caused problems for all of them from the start. It was probably not the ending that I was hoping for, because it resulted in the death of two main characters who were two of the characters who held the group together - but the ending lead to the moral in a pleasant way at least. I really like some of the themes in this book and think that it is very easy to analyse and opens many discussions if you're somebody who reads books for a book club, or in fact writes reviews on a book, like i have? But for my concluding sentence and my aim for writing this review, I am just going to say: Don't judge a book by it's cover! Because it looks extremely boring and will not appeal to that many people, but once reading it I am sure you'll pick on one aspect of the story and feel interested in it. Thank you for reading!
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I was made to read this as this was for my Year 11 GCSE exam - at first when I got a copy of the book I was worried that the book was going to be bad and I would spend about eight to nine months revising it over and over again, but as I read the book (I read it a couple of times as I was made by my teacher! But it was worth all the studying and reading!) And the book I was pretty impressed by - so luckily I got the right teacher in year 11!
Written by William Golding
It was during the world war two period and the British plane has crashed on a desert island in the middle of no where, all the people on the plane are boys, and the first boy to appear is a boy named Ralph, moments later appears another boy who is overweight and is named 'Piggy.' Then another boy appears named Jack with a choir of boys - when the reader first meet Jack they believe that he is someone evil. All the boys have to work as a team to try and get off the island they do everything they can. However, the boys spilt into two sides. Ralph's team who are the reliable, well behaved ones and do all the hard work to get off the island, but Jack's team are the one who show their true colors by treating the island as place to mess around and behave the cannibals. Jack then tells Ralph's side that their is evil lurking on the island and that there is something known as 'the beast.' But does the beast actually exist or is a thing that is totally made up and the boys actually have nothing to fear of. But is 'The lord of the files?' Who is he? Does he even exist?
Ralph - a fair haired boy who tries to make the island a safe place and tries to get off the island.
Piggy - a overweight boy with glasses, however Piggy is a nickname, no one actually knows what his real name is
Jack - one of the team leader but is the one who is trying to cause trouble on the island.
Roger - one of Jack's team leaders
Simon - seen as a sign of religion, on Ralph's side
Sam and Eric - The only twins on the island later they are named SamnEric.
the littleluns - named by Jack, all on Ralph's side
the navy officer - The only adult in the story
This book is a must read and you never ever judge a book by it's cover so I recommend that you should read this! (But I'm sure some of you have if You did it at GSCE!) I love the story and why William Golding wrote the novel. Also the book has the most amazing message - there is evil everyone even a person who you thought would never hurt a fly.
William Golding's first novel (he wrote shorter works before hand) is arguably part of the canon of English literature. It is definitely one of the modern classics
The general plot is underplayed by subtle morals and undertones of general issues. Most people are familiar with the story, however, for those who are unaware the substance is that there is a group of children crashed on a desert island. There are no adults, and the children gradually retract from civilisation during the absence of all jurisdiction. With no influential figures, the children run riot in a power struggle.
There are several clever images that Golding creates. The conch, which is the shell used to gather the boys at the start, represents order and power, and when it is smashed, the corresponding theme also smashes.
The fire represents life, warmth and survival, and is vital for the boys. When it runs out on the mountain, things change drastically for the worse. In the end, the thing that they rely upon the most kills one of them in a savage forest fire.
There is also the boar, which is a representation of hunting, and the savage nature that is present in all of us.
In all, I really recommend this novel. It is a great read for adults and children due to the different perspectives it brings.
William Golding's Lord of the Flies is my all-time favourite book. It was Golding's first book, making it all the more an impressive achievement. The plot revolves around a group of private school kids whose plane crashes, stranding them on an island, causing them to have to work together to survive, or as is frequently true, die.
The novel cleverly presents the children as a microcosm of society, for they have to first learn how to make fire, and then they begin to build social groups and some sort of a leadership. Further impressive, though, is Golding's look at the nature of man, and through the eyes of children, shows the universality of our selfishness and evil, that not even young kids are free from in situations like this.
The book also has a lot of allegory - for in depicting the various splinter groups and sects of the class, we get a distinct notion of good and evil - with the pig's head on a stick representing no doubt the temptations of the Devil. The two groups also represent two distinct political ideologies - of considerable liberalism and extreme conservatism, which makes it all the more a potent and timeless novel.
While it has all of these heady concerns, it also works well as a pure visceral adventure. There's the quirky, nerdy Piggy, who is frequently bullied by the other kids, and who has more to do with the plot than you'd think. However, what I really admire throughout is Golding's amazing attention to detail; every creeper, every rock pool and every square inch of land is richly described, which would get boring in lesser hands, but Golding's such a skilled writer that it is ever engrossing.
For a gritty, honest meditation on human nature, good and evil, religion and politics, there is no better novel.
This was one book I actually enjoyed studying whilst I was at school. I found the story fascinating and really looked forward to finding out what would happen next.
Reading it again years later I enjoyed the book just as much. Set on a deserted island, save for a few wild pigs and a possible 'Beast', a group of young boys get stranded. With no adults in the group the scene is set for chaos to ensue as the boys try to govern themselves. This book is a commentary on human nature and covers various themes such as violence, war, relationships and death.
I did find that at times the author Golding spent too long describing when you want to hear about the action on the island, but at least it sets up the scene for the action very well. Overall this book is a modern classic with a lot to say about human nature and it is a great read.
This is a very famous book and, remarkably, a first novel by its author. Having served in the War and only at its end found the extent of the Nazi brutality, he eventually put his thoughts on the nature and origin of evil into this book. It was a theme he returned to many times in later works. This is a 'Coral Island' kind of story, but with a realistic approach to how the boys actually might behave. Initial heady excitement gives way to fear and terror, which drive them to horrible cruelty - Simon the visionary is killed, so is Piggy the pragmatist, and so too would Ralph be were it not for adult intervention from, ironically, a world outside which is tearing iteself to pieces in war. Golding's ear for dialogue and his extraordinary descriptive skill help to make this one of the great novels of the 20th. century - look at the terribly sad but incredibly beautiful short passage in which the dead Simon is borne out to sea by the tiny sea creatures, for example - but it is also a compelling read, and it is horribly easy to be convinced that the events described could happen just as they are described, and that they are paralleled day by day in some part of our own world. It's a wonderful book and an important one.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding is without doubt one of the best novels I have ever read. It is a fictional and allegorical novel that was published originally in 1954. The novel was published by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 best English language novels from 1923 to today! Perhaps even more impressive, this novel was as I said written by William Golding who is a Nobel prize winner! The brilliance of this novel is unexplainable and I could not recommend it more.
The novel describes how a group of British school kids who are stranded on a tropical island and things don't go particularly well. They try to declare order and govern themselves but it ultimately fails and results in bad things happening. The kids must take responsability for themselves now and behave like adults. One day two different groups form one by Ralph whose group were in favour of building a suitable home and gathering food. There was also Jack's group who just wanted to go hunting and generally have a good time. It is fantatsic symbolism showing the contrast between the building of a civilisation and just brutal behavior. There is a growing tension between the group that ends in a climax at the end of the novel.
I really do think that on the plot line alone this is one of the best novels I have ever read. I liked how it can be read and enjoyed by many ages, it will just determine your level of understanding of the underlying meanings of the novel. It is a fantatsic novel that is beautifully written with an excellent structure thoughout. It is a great read and has not one the awards it has for no reason. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this!
Arguably the darkest, most penetrating novel ever written William Golding's Lord of the Flies never fails in compelling you to search for and then challenge your deepest held beliefs on human nature. A bold statement I know, however Golding's novel was written to achieve just this.
Golding wrote his novel in the aftermath of World War 2, a time of great reflection and mourning. Golding's novel tracks the progress of marooned school boys on a 'Robinson Crusoe' style island paradise. Of course the characters and setting are mere props in Golding's fable, the decent in barbarism, tribalism and savagery so meticulously described by Golding is symbolic of Golding's view of human nature.
This hobbesian theory of human nature challenges modern liberal attitudes, don't let this put you off though Lord of the Flies can be appreciated simply as a fantastic novel, perfectly crafted and beautifully written. A true modern classic!
After studying this novel for the whole of this year for my GCSE's I feel I have a good understanding of the book. I thought as some practice for the exam ahead (only a few weeks to go) maybe I should write a review on the book to test my knowledge. Please can you comment on my understanding if you feel necessary?
Just a brief bit of history for you to know some background information. The author William Golding was born in 1911. He was keen to study literature and later graduated from the extremely well respected Oxford University. He was a teacher before the war and returned to the profession after the war was over. His time at war made him have a new view on life. He now believed that without the strict laws and authority that we have today a dark evil within would emerge. He left teaching in 1961 in order to focus more time on writing and create novels such as this one Lord of the Flies.
The Lord of the Flies is set on a distant tropical island. It is the start of the war and a plane has crashed on the island whilst evacuating schoolboys away from the fighting. The only people who survived the plane crash were the boys, no adults survived. A choir group along with numerous boys of other ages. They would have to fend for themselves and wait to be rescued.
Ralph and a rather large boy with the nickname Piggy find a weird looking shell. Piggy shows Ralph how to blow the shell, named a conch. Ralph blows the conch to attract the attention of any other boys on the island. The boys here the loud noise from far off and gather on the beach.
Ralph is voted leader of the group with Jack, head choir boy, leader of the hunters, his choir. Ralph decides the conch can be used to create order amongst the group and so makes the first rule, only the person holding the conch may speak.
Ralph, Jack and Simon, who is described as a queer boy, set off to explore the island. On their returns they inform the boys that infact the island is deserted with no sign of human life.
Some of the smaller boys named the 'littleuns' spread rumours of a beast and this scares some of the boys. They say that they have seen this beast in the forest at night. The older boys assure the boys that there is no such thing as a beast but this doesn't put the beast idea out of the boy's minds. The first death on the island occurs when a fire breaks out and sadly a boy with a birth mark on his face is caught in the blaze.
Ralph decides that sleeping rough is too cold and so decides the boys should make shelters. Also he wants to create a fire on top of the mountain to make smoke which hopefully passing ships will see and rescue the boys. Jack and the hunters say they will be responsible for keeping the fire burning. Meanwhile though Jacks obsession with killing pigs is becoming ever present, this annoys Ralph. The start of the rivalry between these 2 is starting to show. Ralph is unhappy with the lack of help he receives building the shelters, law and order is starting to disappear.
While Jack and his hunters are out killing pigs and ship passes by, but the fire is out and the ship doesn't see the boys. The hunters come back to reveal a killed pig but Ralph is unhappy that a chance of rescue has passes and has an intense argument with Jack. Jack lashes out at Piggy for a comment he had said. The behaviour of the boys is slowly changing.
During the night a dead parachutist falls down from above in the sky onto mountain. The boys seem to think this dead man is a beast and panic is set about the island.
Jack separates from the group and forms his own tribe, this is due to his failed attempt at leadership, but slowly boys join the rival group Jack has made. Jacks tribe mainly hunt and kill pigs. They believe that if they leave an offering of a pig's head for the beast it will leave them alone.
Simon has a fit in the forest and speaks to the Lord of the Flies, the pigs head on a stick, in which he is told by the pig's head the beast is not real is it the evil within the boys themselves that is causing the fear and terror. When Simon wakes he climbs the mountain to discover the real truth about the beast.
Jacks tribe hold a giant feast in which they dance and eat pig meat. During the intense ritual dance Simon returns to tell the boys the truth about the beast. He is caught up in the dance and mistaken for the beast, the boys kill him.
Ralphs group try really hard to keep the signal fire alight but they find there are not enough of them. Jack's group want fire and to get this they needs Piggy's glasses, they raid the other camp and steal Piggy's glasses. Ralph and his members go to Jack's camp to get back the glasses.
During the argument Piggy is pushed off the edge of a cliff by a rock pushed by Roger. Also the conch is smashed, this signals that the decent to savagery is complete. Ralph just manages to get away but the rest of the group are captured.
Jack and his group set out to kill Ralph, they set fire to the island. Just before they reach Ralph a Naval Officer sees the smoke from the fire and comes onto the island to rescue them.
The book is an easy read and I extremely recommend it, I have studied the book all this year and there are many deeper themes and images to explore. It has won many awards so I would say its well worth a read. Overall 9/10
I studied this book whilst I was taking my English GCSE and personally, I loved it. Without boring you by going into the deeper meanings I'll just explain the general plot; during a fictional war some boys (presumably being evactuated) crash on a deserted island and are forced to create there own civilisation.
It is quite an intellectual book but even if you do not like those types of books, it is still a good story to read. There are many twists and turns and on many levels you'll probably find yourselfs felling empathy for the boy and their struggle for survival. However, if you prefer exploring the deeper meanings and reading between the lines you are able to appreciate this book on a whole other level.
Regardless of whether you like analyising books or not I would recommend it as it is a great story; but if you do buy it I would advise you to explore the meanings as that way you'll enjoy the book so much more.