I was very excited to read this book–my friends all read it the year I joined IB. But, I am a tomboy and I knew this was a boy book–an adventure book. Many of these have been recognized through the ages as books to intrigue boys: Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, The Hardy Boys, Peter Pan, etc.
A plane-full of boys crash landed on a deserted island and no adult survived. These were kids any age from starting school (5-6) to about 12-14 years old. The first few days were all fun and games as they began to organize themselves and give each other duties. A few hap-hazards happen with fire and a felled parachuter. Things start to turn to chaos as the boys begin to argue and fear overcomes them. Things fall apart and (*spoiler) two boys are killed.
It was interesting to read it, but I didn’t like the way Golding wrote it. Yes, he was an English teacher, and yes he was an accomplished author, but I just didn’t like Golding’s rhetoric. It was a bit chaotic and hard to follow along with who was speaking and who was thinking and what point of view, etc.
It was also interesting to see how the kids acted. I’ve taught 12 year olds (who were turning 13 and 14) and they were a lot more “mature” than these kids. But then, I had to realize that these are kids of the 2000’s–they care about smart phones, social media, dating, fashion, and reality TV. Golding wrote the book in the 1950s when kids still went out to play and imaginations ran wild. It was different to see these kids acting this way.
I also had always thought the “Lord of the Flies” was one of the characters (especially due to the infamous picture on the cover of the book). But no, it is a symbol–a skewed pig’s head, in fact. One of the characters, Simon, “had a conversation” with it and it reappeared numerous times afterward in the book. Some of the strong themes are fear, “beasts”, and hope.
The ending was very sad. Really, really sad. I’m not going to spoil it for ya’ll, but it is intensely sad.
2.5 out of 5
2.5 out of 5