Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I have just recently finished reading The Lord of the Flies with some friends. A group of about 8 us met up fortnightly to discuss a chapter, or two, of what we had read the week before. Many times I found myself sorely tempted to read ahead, so involved did I become with the plot, and intrigued with how the author showed the merciless destruction of civilisation.

This book may seem like a dark and depressing novel, and in many ways it definitely is. In fact it is deeply disturbing on many levels, but if you look past that, and instead focus on the many examples of symbolism placed throughout this book, you will find it far more interesting. Something that struck me when talking about Lord of The Flies with my friends was their different opinions on whether they would, or wouldn't, advise people to read it. One girl put it very well saying, 'who I would suggest it to would very much depend on whether they would 'get' it or not.' Basically, to really get full worth out of this book you need to see past the story, and focus instead on the underlying meanings- the whole plot is an image of how the author sees the world.

If you are at all skeptical of reading this book, maybe you could try reading it with friends and doing discussion questions. I know that it really helped me engage when I could talk about it with friends. In fact it was very interesting to see how we each thought it related to us, and how easy we could relate ourselves to the characters. In some ways I think that is the scariest thing. Without laws and 'civilisation' would we become like Jack, and Ralph, and Piggy, and Simon? Would we fall into that level of savagery? This book isn't about enjoying it, it's about acknowledging that we are all plagued by the Lord of the Flies, the beast who lives within.

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