Book Summary: William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.
Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.
Liana's Summary: When their plane crashes, a group of boys are stranded on an island, with no surviving adults. So the only thing to do is take care of themselves-- but first, who must be elected as leader? Ralph is beautiful, with an air of leadership, too. Plus, he gathered the very first meeting. Why not him? When the boys hear about a so-called 'beast,' everything goes downhill. Unnecessary worry is caused. Jack just wants to hunt, while Ralph is trying a bit too hard. The boys argue-- and that leads to further disaster..
I've been wanting to read this book for quite a while. It's rare that I'd actually like to read a classic, but this one just appealed to me more than other classics. Plus, there were many positive reviews, and I think the thing I saw most often was 'I enjoyed reading this book in high school.' And that just leads me to the topic of assigned reading. Some people didn't, don't, and will/would not like this book if it was assigned to them in school. (It's ok. I hate it when the teacher stops on every single frickin' page just to analyze something and take note of something, too. It's darned annoying.) I'll just say that I'm glad this was a summer assignment, so I got to read at my own pace.
I'll admit that I used SparkNotes. It's not that I couldn't understand it (well maybe it is), but because the words were so small and I was so tired and there were so many things to take note of and so many questions to answer-- so yes, I used SparkNotes. But I actually did read the whole thing. I kind of gave up not using SparkNotes because someone spoiled for me one of the deaths-- and for your sake, if you haven't read it, I won't say who died. But someone died.. I'll just say that I wouldn't have understood much of the book if it weren't for the internet..
What I heard about this book before I read it was that it was about a bunch of boys on an island trying to survive. The first thought that came to my head was.. you guessed it (or maybe not) The Hunger Games. LOL. It's like the word survival is just linked to THG. That's what appealed to me. I just distinctly remember my SAT Essay teacher talking about using book references, and he used Lord of the Flies.. and I was just, Lord of the Flies? Da haaaaail. (Exactly what my dad said when he saw what I was reading..) I think that's part of what appealed to me, actually, despite my incredulity at the title. Classics usually have boring titles, like, well.. Pride and Prejudice. What I found even more interesting was that the title Lord of the Flies had a deeper meaning to it despite the actual, physical.. flies. And I'll leave that to you, reader who hasn't read this book yet, to decipher the meaning when you read it. For those who have read it, you know what I mean.
One day I'll probably look back at this and say, "I enjoyed reading that book in high school." Maybe. We shall see..
There was a study guide (since we'll have a test on this the first day of school, apparently), and it really helped. When I read To Kill a Mockingbird last summer, I was surprised that I actually knew what happened in the book, because, well, like I said, it's a classic. It was actually the study guide questions that helped me understand it.
Lord of the Flies isn't that hard to understand, really, and I think that I learned I really need to expand my vocabulary. All I remember from this book is ululation, which, just for the record, means screaming/tongue trilling/high-pitched weird noises/Tarzan scream.. sorta..
What I found most amazing in this book was how William Golding managed to show the deterioration of the boys' innocence. In the very beginning, the boys were still civilized and like, well, boys. But then they slowly turned into animals and Tarzans. I think Tarzan is even more civilized than they are. And he's a gorilla. Sort of.. There was a huge fight scene at the end, (I won't say between who) and I just thought back to the very beginning where everything was civilized and I was just like, whoa. This book really portrays Golding's views about the parliamentary system. He believed, apparently, that anarchism is terrible and there always needs to be democratic rule or a society will descend into chaos. He portrayed it really well..
Okay, I really don't like any of the characters. At all. They're all obnoxious little turds. Except for Simon... -chokes- um, at first, I thought that I only liked Simon because of his name and Simon Lewis from TMI but.. really, I actually liked Simon a lot. I felt like his role was all the boys' root to civilization, but then that all fell apart..
But yeah, I'd recommend this to whoever's interested.. Who hasn't read Lord of the Flies? (Says me, who'd just finished it yesterday.)