Lord of the Flies

A mainstay within schools around the world, Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ has been popularized due to its inclusion of children as the protagonists within an adult storyline. It follows a group of boys who are stranded on an island and describes the fracturing of the group as they descend into base tribalism, succumbing to violence as hunger and fear takes hold.

It is likely Simon, the gentle and quiet member of what we would call the “humane” tribe, that plays a significant but short role during the climax of the story. Understated, it is these intense passages that give us an inkling into the love Golding had for his characters, and in this case Simon, who, as is explicitly told by the “Lord of the Flies”, may very well be a symbolic representation of all the goodness of humanity.

The process of fracturing can sometimes be frustrating as the reader anticipates more consequential happenings, but this is perhaps a necessarily accurate representation of how silently base instincts may begin to take hold. Recommended for those that enjoy raw examinations of psychology and sociology.

Lord of the Flies | Rating: 5 Stars | Genre: Literary Fiction / War | Tags: adventure, children, survival | Author: William Golding | Publisher: Faber and Faber | Pages: 225 | ISBN: 0571056865 | Purchase
Author: William Golding
Whilst still a teacher at Bishop Wordsworth's School, in 1951 Golding began writing a manuscript of the novel initially titled Strangers from Within. In September 1953, after rejections from seven other publishers, Golding sent a manuscript to Faber and Faber and was initially rejected by their reader, Jan Perkins, who labelled it as "Rubbish & dull. Pointless". His book, however, was championed by Charles Monteith, a new editor at the firm. Monteith asked for some changes to the text and the novel was published in September 1954 as Lord of the Flies.

In 1988 Golding was appointed a Knight Bachelor. In September 1993, only a few months after his unexpected death, the First International William Golding Conference was held in France, where Golding's presence had been promised and was eagerly expected.

The novel Lord of the Flies is arguably Golding's most famous book. Considered a modern classic, the book is read in schools around the world today.