Review: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the FliesBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to Lord of the Flies, a coming-of-age novel written in 1954 by William Golding, who was a Nobel Prize winner. Most people have either read this book during middle/high school (in America or Great Britain), or have heard of it because of its cannibalism story line. But wait… it wasn’t really cannibalism — huge exaggeration to set straight, right from the beginning. But let’s back up… At a time of war, a group of teenage boys are in a plane that crashed onto an isolated and jungle-like island. They are forced to grow up quickly when they have no food, water or shelter at their disposal. It’s a story about how to take care of yourself in the jungle when you have nothing but raw supplies. The novel is full of themes from loss of innocence to the differences between savagery and civilization. It asks the question what type of a person are you — a leader or a follower? The story charts the actions of the teens as they grow up, hunt for food, build shelter and learn how to work together. They divide into opposing teams, trying to see how is the best leader. They learn to help each other and watch others dies. They run out of supplies and food, questioning whether to eat meat, hence where cannibalism comes from. But it’s not a major story where they choose to do it and eat an entire body to survive, that’s a different book! I read the book once and tried a second time, but what I realized is that the world today is a very different place. While I appreciate the themes and characters being brought to life in this novel, it didn’t have as strong an impact on me as it has for others. I think it may be the kind of novel that is best read when you are a teenager, as it helps with understanding things are the same today as they were 75 years ago, in terms of growing up and learning how to work together. When you’ve got a classic like this one paired up against something like The Hunger Games, it’s a tough choice. They deal with the same sort of context in terms of “survival of the fittest,” but one is a dangerous game and another is an accident. I like them both, but I’d choose The Hunger Games, even tho it’s probably less well-written. Teen angst, lessons to be learned, education versus playtime, all great concepts both books addressed, but the difference is when a book almost goes out of the way to try to teach me something versus it naturally happening. I still believe it’s a good book, and it should be read, but if it were written today, I don’t think it would be as popular.

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  1. I read this book two months ago for the first time recommended by my Twitter friend and I agree with you that this book is NOT on cannibalism. It does touch on that aspect but definitely not centered on it; it just happens as the kids strips away from there rationality due to the lack of food and imminent necessity to ‘eat the meat’ to survive.
    The writing was a bit convoluted for me thus it took me a while to finish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate to admit that I STILL haven’t read this book!!!! I watched like half of the movie and had to turn it off because it was so harsh I couldn’t really handle it, and I didn’t want to ruin the book any more than I already had by watching that much. There are so many mixed reviews I’m completely at a loss and keep pushing it out. Maybe eventually I’ll get to it lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally understand. I’m sorta at that point of… there are thousands of good books. I can only read about a 100 per year. If I’m not keen on it, it’s okay to skip. I’ve given myself the OK! Don’t stress. There are other equally as good and as classic worth reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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