Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

eBook - 2001 | 1st ed. (electronic).
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Few works in literature have received as much popular and critical attention as Nobel Laureate William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Since its publication in 1954, it has amassed a cult following, and has significantly contributed to our dystopian vision of the post-war era. When responding to the novel's dazzling power of intellectual insight, scholars and critics often invoke the works of Shakespeare, Freud, Rousseau, Sartre, Orwell, and Conrad. Golding's aim to "trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature" is elegantly pursued in this gripping adventure tale about a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin, and evil. Part parable, allegory, myth, parody, political treatise, and apocalyptic vision, Lord of the Flies is perhaps the most memorable tale about "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart."
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2001.
Edition: 1st ed. (electronic).
ISBN: 9780786516681
0786516682
9781101158104
1101158107
Characteristics: 1 online resource.

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Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Behaving badly
NicoleA_Oshlib Mar 23, 2020

The classic that shows the dark side of a group of boys after they are stranded after a plane crash.

A group of posh, English school boys have crash-landed on an island. It is their responsibility to fend for themselves and create a new society for them to survive. But conflicts arise, and their inner nature becomes visible.


From the critics


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l
lataurchini
Oct 07, 2020

at times, disturbing

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Green_Cat_68
Sep 19, 2020

The Lord of the Flies is a common high-school read. After a group of boys are stranded on an island as a result of a plane crash with none of the adults surviving, they are forced to try and rule themselves. The story progresses to show how each of the boys ultimately descend into madness and become stripped off their moral principles. I found it to be a fascinating read! It brings up many topics about how humanity will naturally act when there is no society or laws to keep people in place. The author, William Golding, makes sure to include several metaphors and symbolism in order to accurately convey how humans are essentially the root of all evil. Although this book has depictions of violence and may seem a little depressing, it is definitely though-provoking and makes you think about how the minds of human’s work.

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smhgeo422
Sep 14, 2020

In the story, The Lord of the Flies, William Golding creates an allegorical and dystopian fiction book that includes a group of boys on a stranded island with no adults to fight nature’s obstacles. Jack Merridew, a character that is not fully developed with the world, starts a hunting group and leads most of the boys to follow the lifestyles of savagery. Ralph, an organized boy who was the originally voted leader, loses his position and, over time, loses much of his popularity. With a failed attempt at starting a socialization, Jack transforms himself and his crew into barbaric beasts, surviving in a reckless lifestyle almost as of an animal. Ralph, one of very few people who still remain civilized, continues to bring back others into a structured form of living.

After Golding’s horrific first-hand experience in fighting World War II, he wanted to share his belief that humans are inherently evil, and that without a government, society would crash. Although many would disagree with this claim, I rate it a five out of five stars, because the story plays a fair demonstration of his point. The book isn’t a very hard read either, so I recommend it ages 11+.

a
alecbussott
Aug 25, 2020

Does this book provide some truth and insight to the psyche of childhood? No, but it is nevertheless a great story.

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dgiard
Aug 18, 2020

What would happen if a plane crashed on a deserted island and the only survivors were a group of English schoolboys?
Would they form their own society?
Would they establish rules by which to govern themselves?
Would they be kind to one another?

William Golding describes this scenario in his 1954 novel "Lord of the Flies".

It is a dark story.

After their plane crashes, killing all adults on board, the boys attempt to self-govern, but quickly devolve into savagery. The stronger boys seize power and bully the weaker ones.

Golding uses the boys on the island as a microcosm of society. Without the rule of law to govern them, the strongest take over and exert their way upon the weaker ones.

Not one of the boys is over 12 years old, but it is easy to forget this as they grow more violent and emotion overrides reason and groupthink overrules logic.

A power struggle takes place between Ralph, who tries to establish order and a set of rules to help the boys survive and increase their chance of rescue; and Jack, who appeals to their emotions and plays on their fear of an alleged monstrous beast on the island.

As their makeshift society collapses, they begin to worship the head of a pig swarming with flies (their "Lord of the flies") and even robbery and murder is no longer taboo to some of them.

I read this parable 20 years ago and again this week - and I loved it. Golding paints a dark picture of the chaos that results when rules are not enforced. We see ourselves in these young boys and it is not the best part of ourselves.

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AlexaLe
Aug 05, 2020

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were stuck on a deserted island with a bunch of children? It is only natural that chaos would follow, as it does in William Goulding’s Lord of the Flies. A classic novel for both personal and educational reading, a ragtag group of young boys are deserted on an island after their plane crashes. From there, they must learn how to coexist and build a semblance of structure in order to stay sane and survive. The early chapters begin with introductions to characters such as young Ralph and chubby, bespectacled Piggy. A fight between Ralph and choir boy Jack Merridew over becoming the leader of this quasi-civilization leads to a break in trust, loyalty, and leadership. The boys encounter a series of terrifying natural elements, forcing them to adapt to this new normal. As it becomes clear that rescue is not imminent, the boys begin to lose their sanity, and truly become beasts of the wild.

While some may see this as just a typical island story to read in school, I believe this is anything but, for it details what truly happens when civilization and structure is removed from your life. It shows that civilized boys can become deranged beasts, capable of killing both animals and each other. I was captivated by all of the symbolism and character progression in the story, as they were simultaneously subtle and prominent. This is a fascinating novel that does an excellent job of exploring the animalistic aspects of human nature, even in young boys who have no previous history of violence. Goulding skillfully highlights their descent into madness and their gradual forgetfulness of anything that society has taught them about civilization. In the wild, it is eat or be eaten, and this is exactly what the boys do.

I love this novel, but it is extremely dark. I would not recommend this to people who cannot read about death or violence, as this book is replete with it. Overall, it is a great novel that goes deep into barbaric tragedy and destructive chaos.

Age rating: 13+
Star rating: 5 stars

i
IshaanGupta30
Jul 21, 2020

The Lord of the Flies follows a group of young children who are all alone on an island because their plane was shot down amidst a war. Coming from civilized society, the young boys are free from all rules due to the lack of supervision by grown-ups. This very lack of control results in their descent from “civilized” to “uncivilized,” and eventually become savages.

I personally really liked the novel since its coming-of-age story is very interesting and the character development is fairly engaging. The fact that the novel explains the importance of rules in our society is one of the reasons why I love this novel. The novel represents the tensions between the human urge toward savagery and the controlling nature of rules and regulations.

a
abc123abc123123
Jul 10, 2020

Lord of the Flies is a book that definitely makes the reader want to keep reading. In the story there was a bunch of young boys who got stranded on an island due to a plane crash. Throughout the story the boys form different relationships, groups and attitudes. In order to stay “civil” on this deserted island two boys, Ralph and Piggy, find a conch shell that is used to summon the others on the island as well as create rules to stay alive. These tactics do not end so well and eventually lead to brutality and violence. This was a great book and teaches some important lessons for people of all ages.

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usersjpl
Jun 26, 2020

"Lord of the Flies" is about a plane, evacuating a group of schoolboys from the ongoing war in Britain, that is shot down onto a deserted island. The boys attempt to make their own civilized society on the island, but only death, fear, and chaos ensue. Golding creatively demonstrates the importance of rules and the complexity of human beings through hints of humor, gore, and mystery. It is for any readers with a calculative and undisturbed mind. The vast use of sensory detail may be confusing, and the killings and innuendos of evil may be disturbing. Unlike other stories where twists and turns make books too confusing and unpleasant, it is quite befitting for the Lord of the Flies. It enhances the novel’s vibe of eeriness. It is a fun challenge to try to figure out the book’s, characters’, and objects’ significance. This is a story for readers interested in human evil, fear, civilization, and loss of innocence.

Star Rating: 3 and ½

Age Rating: 12+

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gurleen03
Jun 26, 2020

“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is an exceptional book that delves into sequences full of curiosity and excitement. A plane crashed near a tropical island that carried schoolboys in which Ralph and Piggy are highlights of helping the group survive in the isolated and unknown place without any adult guide. Many characters join to make this book memorable, but the most important ones are worth talking of. Jack, a teenager who acts like a beast when it’s time to hunt for food, becomes in charge of keeping the group fed. Jack’s ultimate goal is to catch a pig (the lord of the flies) which makes him aggressive towards his team. Piggy carries the most tragic role: he deals with asthma and wearing big glasses makes him feel like an outsider. Planes fly by the island but they are unaware and eventually, they will have to find a way out or seek help. I liked how the story kept its meaning and it did not have many unnecessary events. Despite that quality, I feel that the author could have extended the ending instead of rushing the suspense of the story in a few pages. But in all, I recommend this book for those who like suspense and adventures!

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Age Suitability

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smhgeo422
Sep 14, 2020

smhgeo422 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

FriendsDragonsCats44 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

i
IshaanGupta30
Jul 21, 2020

IshaanGupta30 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

a
abc123abc123123
Jul 10, 2020

abc123abc123123 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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gurleen03
Jun 26, 2020

gurleen03 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 11

m
maheswari_bajji
May 29, 2020

maheswari_bajji thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

d
danizhao
Mar 21, 2020

danizhao thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

p
pataustin11
Aug 14, 2019

pataustin11 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

b
brookebixby
May 11, 2018

brookebixby thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 99

i
Its_ya_boi_Emmitt
May 11, 2018

Its_ya_boi_Emmitt thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

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Summary

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s
Star_14
Aug 11, 2020

At the beginning of the Second World War, a group of British boys on a flight overseas crash-land on a deserted island, bringing nothing with them but the clothes on their backs and the wisdom of their young minds. Which, unfortunately, is usually less than sufficient. Luckily, the island is bountiful with animals, fruit-bearing trees, clean water, wood for shelters, and kindling for fire. But here's the issue: there are no adults present. At first, Ralph, one of the oldest of the boys, is declared chief by popular vote, and starts to delegate younger children to complete much-needed tasks on the island. But very soon, an opposition is established by Jack, the obvious and manipulative leader of a cohort separate from Ralphs. Conflict very quickly arises between the two. It turns into an unsanctioned power struggle where the winner is only determined by the other children, many of whom just want to play and eat freely. The beginnings of a shaky but pragmatic endeavor to survive turns into a bid for total control. As the boys become more and more war-like and primitive, other, younger boys start to disappear without any mention of their whereabouts. When more and more start to die, the boys are forced to reckon with the destruction they've caused, and change, for better or for worse.

s
S_ice
Jul 16, 2020

A group of young boys all by themselves on an island. No adults to tell them what to do. It’s paradise… at least that’s what they all thought at the beginning. Soon, the boys choose a leader named Ralph; however, another boy named Jack wants to be the leader too. As time goes on, their relationship starts getting unhealthy. Some boys support Jack and others support Ralph. Read this book to find out about how Jack, Ralph, and the other boys stranded on the island interact with each other with no adults to give them advice. Will they end up finding a way to live peacefully together? Or will they end up fighting and have a violent relationship? Will there ever be a rescuer who comes to save all the boys from this island?

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maheswari_bajji
May 29, 2020

Lord of the Flies is a book written by William Golding. It is about a group of young boys aged 5-12 who crash land on a desert island. To survive they have to start a civilization and cooperate, which becomes bad by the end of the book. Upon arriving, the boys chose a boy named Ralph to be chief. Throughout the story Ralph calls assemblies with a white conch he finds with his new friend Piggy, and their “civilization” does start. However his enemy Jack who wants to be chief and loves to hunt, makes life on the island a tribe and ruins “civilization”. There are 4 main characters in this book Simon, Ralph, Piggy and Jack who represent 4 aspects of life. I like this story as it talks about how young boys survive without adults on an island. The ending is surprising, because two boys “disappear” and Jack’s tribe becomes Savages. I like the book as it also talks about a power struggle between two boys, and how that causes life to become very bad on the island. I would rate this a 5/5, and say that this book is for children ages 13 and up.

b
Book1972
Jun 11, 2018

In William Golding’s allegory novel Lord of the Flies, a group of boys are on an uninhabited island and have to govern themselves. A plane was shot down over the island. Some of the group of British schoolboys survived. Without adult supervision, they try to set rules for the island. A set of twins, Sam and Eric, mistake a dead pilot parachuting down to the island for a beast. Jack, thinks he is the rightful ‘chief’, calls for a hunt for the beast. Ralph, the ‘chief’, accuse Jack of not wanting to be rescued. Ralph joins the hunt and they do the "kill the pig" chant multiple times. After a while, the boys were under the impression that Simon was the beast and decided to kill him. Ralph and Piggy tried to justify their part of the murder. They said it was motivated by fear and instinct. Piggy questioned Jack about being sensible: “Which is better-to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is” (180)? Piggy was hit and he fell down the mountains until he hit the beach. The impact killed Piggy. Jack declared himself chief then he calls for a hunt on Ralph. Ralph realized that the schoolboys that arrived on the Island are now savages. Ralph hides until he noticed the other boys are setting the forest on fire to try to smoke him out. If they continue to do this, the fire will destroy all the fruit on the Island. A naval officer arrived on his ship. He thought the boys have been playing games to which he scolds them for not behaving more organized and responsible. Ralph wept for the end of the boy’s innocence and the death of Piggy.
Overall, I had a few favorite quotes. Of Course, I like that one kid calling people “wacco[s]” (27). I just enjoyed the quote about letting the fire go out: “They let the bloody fire go out” (68). The quote about fear just was really cool: “The thing is-fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream” (82). Personally, I enjoyed some childish fights and comments. Ralph and Jack arguing about who will be the chief. Also, when they call each other names “‘Who’s a thief?’ ‘You are’” (177)! In my honest opinion, it was not the best book I have read. I only enjoyed a few quotes and a few sections. The only reasons I would recommend this book is because it is an easy and short read; the book took me about two hours to read. Other than that I do not recommend reading it.

d
Dragonrat703
Aug 17, 2017

Schoolboys are stranded on an island together. Attempts at a civilized society are made, but as the hope of rescue grows farther away, as the terror of beasts and monsters takes control, the society is fractured. The boys deteriorate into a violent, brutal mob, praising and fearing a "beast" and brutally punishing those against them.

sakib_0 Jun 29, 2014

golding reenacts WWII in this book by showing how many young boys crash down into a mysterious island in a plane,and revert to savagery as their hope of survival

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

A number of English school boys suffered from a plane accident causing them to get stranded in an uninhibited island. The period was maybe during the World War II. Trying to be civilized, they elected a leader for themselves as well started the division of tasks (hunters, fire-watchers, etc). Things turned bad when there's a power struggle between the group leaders, worsened by various sightings of a monster in the island. No, don't think about "Lost" because this is way different.

tt14 Jun 18, 2012

This novel is about a group of young English boys who miraculously survived a plane crash. They are all alone in this mysterious and inhabited island of lagoons, cliffs, hills, wild pigs, flies and boulders. The author used many literary techniques to add zest to his novel. Character development, defined as a positive or heroic transformation in a character, is so well suited to Piggy – a protagonist in the novel.

f
fearlessforever
Nov 05, 2011

A bunch of boys are stranded on an island and kill each other....

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

A group of school boys are the only survivors when their plane crashes on a deserted island. Forced to survive alone without adult authority the boys regress and form murderous tribes.

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Quotes

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Grace71park
Jul 24, 2020

“ ‘Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!...You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you?’ ” (126)

r
readingfairy
Oct 15, 2019

“You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” ~ the Lord of the Flies, page 158

v
violet_cat_4736
Mar 19, 2019

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

d
Dragonrat703
Aug 17, 2017

"Maybe there is a beast...maybe it's only us."

sakib_0 Jun 29, 2014

"He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together;
and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance."

c
ck15
Feb 05, 2014

Nobody killed, I hope? Any dead bodies?

tt14 Jun 18, 2012

. “I don’t ask you to be a sport, I’ll say not because you’re strong, but because what’s right’s right. Give me my glasses: I’m going to say – You got to!”

Notices

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d
Dragonrat703
Aug 17, 2017

Violence: A pig is killed in a sadistic and brutal way, with its head later stuck on a pike and devoured by flies. A boy is beaten and torn apart by the others, and later another boy is hit by a boulder, flies off a cliff, and has his head bashed open.

b
blue_zebra_421
Jul 17, 2015

Violence: Since the boys are left stranded on the island, many of them turn into savages.Two boys are killed.

j
JihadiConservative
Sep 06, 2013

Violence: A stabbing and a crushing with rock

f
fearlessforever
Nov 19, 2011

Violence: Oh yeah as if the book couldn't get bad enough, 3/4 of the way through they decide to bludgeon a boy to death and then they push another one down a mountain and crush him with a rock....

n
noob123
Jul 06, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

n
noob123
Jul 06, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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