Author: William Golding Release Date: 1954 Series: None Genres: Classics|YA|Brit-Lit|Adventure|Dystoia| Sci-Fi Pages: 230 ISBN NO.: 978-0-571-20053-5 Publisher: Penguin India
A plane crashes n a desert island. The only survivors area a group of schoolboys. At first they revel in the freedom and celebrate the absence of grown-ups.
Soon though, as the boys’ fragile sense of order begins to collapse, their fears start to take on a sinister, primitive significance. Suddenly, the world of cricket, homework and adventure stories seems a long way away. The boys are faced with a more pressing reality – survival – and the appearance of a terrifying beast who haunts their dreams.
This book is one of those rare classics that a person like me, can read and understand. I’m not a fan of the genre but Lord Of The Flies stand out! I read it once when I was in school, but I never quite understood it with the clarity that I do now. This book serves as a meditation on two extreme sides of human nature, one that is controlled and civilised and the other one that is savage or animal-like.
Though the biguns in the book are no more that 11-12 year old kids, they try to stay civilised but it does not take long for the survival-driven animal-like streak to kick in. Golding has very beautifully described the steady rise of the darker side of humans and how our mind, in crises, is a dark and twisted thing.
In this book, one’s henchman behaviour is very delicately shown, how everyone wants to be on the stronger side and then how they start hunting the weaker ones. The only choice left with the smaller or the weaker group of Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric and a few littluns, is either to join the stronger side or die! The main protagonist, Ralph, the fair boy, who liked Jack, the antagonist, suffers just because of Jack’s greater ego. He innocently failed to understand what turned their friendship around. He tries to ask Jack but as an answer is awarded with wounds, both internal and external.
The ending couldn’t have been better. The intensity with which Ralph starts crying was so touching. He cried for everything right from the first adventure of exploring the island with Jack and Simon to the deaths of Simon and Piggy, his friendship with Jack and Roger and Bill, for being left alone, being hunted, failing to understand where things went wrong, not being bale to keep the smoke up and most of all for being away from the civilised life where the blood-thirsty hunters were choir members!
This book is worth all the praise, time and money!
I’d recommend it to anyone who reads, breaths and eats.
Opening Line: “The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon.”
Highlights: Brilliant depiction of the dark side of human nature.
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”
“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”
“I know there isn’t no beast—not with claws and all that, I mean—but I know there isn’t no fear, either.”
Ralph moved restlessly.
“Unless we get frightened of people.”