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Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Review by Anna

Post Date:03/02/2022 9:00 am

lord of the flies book cover

The Lord of the Flies is a novel written by the British author William Golding with inspiration drawn from the ongoing war near that period of time: World War II. In this novel, he goes over the main topic of a person’s true intentions, innocence, and the nature of humans. It is categorized under allegorical fiction, meaning a metaphorical symbolistic fiction. The novel is also a classic novel. The novel starts off by following a teenage boy Ralph who was aboard a plane to flee from Great Britain because of World War II. On the journey the plane crashed onto a deserted island. Only accompanied by those who survived from the plane accident, they must find a way to be rescued and survive on the cay.


The story expands when two islanders, Jack and Ralph compete for power. However, it wasn’t always like this. After the plane incident, the boys on the island develop potential plans of survival and salvation. They begin to group and set rules for the society to be under control. Everything goes well until they are separated by different priorities and beliefs. Ralph prioritizes rescue and the plan they have developed to achieve that goal, while Jack prioritizes hunting instead. The constant disputes between Ralph and Jack continue to escalate over which result was more important. Proceeding, a day appears when they had a chance to be rescued but did not get rescued. From the astonishment of this consequence created from Jack, the boys drift off into their own tribes differentiated by their different goals. 


In addition to different opinions regarding different subjects, a hypothesized beast controls fear and also initiates the splitting of the once whole group. Throughout the novel different opinions of a physical creature on the island are shown. This highlights the storyline and the characteristics of each character giving further description to the different sides on the island. Different opinions include spoiler alert: a spiritual beast inside all of them, a physical beast, and a non-existent beast due to scientific reasoning. This causes different reactions and actions. 


Going on, many characters and their characteristics add on to the end result of the society. Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Simon, Roger, Maruice, and Bill are some of the main characters to create this. Because the groups split in two, they are the ones who make up the different characteristics of their group and the consequences of their actions. Furthermore the novel includes scenes that are going on outside of life on the island such as including spoiler alert: war in the air outside of the island. These scenes add to the moral of the story and the opinions of readers regarding why the novel was written that way.


Leap forward into the novel and there is bloodshed, savagery, animalistic instincts, guiltiness, and internal hallucinations. Conflict between the two tribes, and the desire for power and recognition from Jack prompts these qualities on the island. It is not before long when Ralph reasons that Jack and his followers have become savages. Regardless of this, chaos is still seen through the murder of the truly innocent and wise Simon, as well as the intelligent Piggy. Everything becomes out of control inclining the fall of civilization on the isle and Ralph the protector of the only ones who will follow him: the littluns (the younger children on the island). Even the ones deemed to be the most moral in the story change for the worst after the part from normal life. Simon has many internal conflicts as seen with other character stories as well. This gives light to more reasoning of characters and their intentions as well as personalities. With this light it can be very interesting and notable towards the overall development of the story.


This novel gives a lot of thoughts to what prompted animalistic behavior and the fall of humanity. Analyzing and comprehending the storyline and details Golding gives can be difficult at times. However, by understanding the picture Golding paints with his descriptive story and commentary, the result can be very rewarding. This book goes over a lot of topics including peoples’ nature of good or evil, ethics, and the end lesson Golding wanted to spread. With these topics, many literary techniques can be sighted. Foreshadowing, metaphors, and irony can be found within the covers. The story gives potential to different interpretations and beliefs, ideal for discussion, and teaching.


I personally enjoy this novel as it gives the reader the desire to read more through sparks of character development, suspenseful and mind-catching story developments, and different turns of events. Golding’s story writing also draws the reader in to see through the perspectives of different characters and why they act the way that they do. The events also spark emotion from the reader as first, it invests the reader into the story of the novel. Furthermore, the addition of background knowledge of the author and his relation to the time period perpetuates analytical discernment of the events in the novel. It also supports different levels and forms of reading.


Regardless, the novel can be a little difficult to understand regarding some passages. It may also be hard to differentiate which characters say what dialogue because there are usually no dialogue tags in the dialogue so it requires more assumptions. The novel may also include some terms which may not be clear as to why it was included and is not typically used in the modern day, so interpreting can be challenging. 


Despite its hard analysis at certain times, I would personally recommend this to anyone who relishes a novel that opens opposing opinions, different means of interpretations, unexpected turn of events, and a suspenseful story. Even if it may have difficult scenes and literary terms, I find that it will help with improvements to reading levels, reading skills, and analytical skills. Along with improvements in readings, I find that this book is wonderful because of the storyline and the qualities given to each character. It is very eye opening and really helps to put the reader in the same situations as the characters in the novel.  I would definitely recommend this, and this is definitely worth the read.


Check out Lord of the Flies from the Newport Beach Public Library!

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