In the middle of nowhere
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
This book was published in 1954, just one year after Fahrenheit 451. The books are both so different. As Golding clearly described: “The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature”. And it’s truly an interesting book. I’m always interested in human behavior. Why do people certain things? Why do they act like that? This clearly interests Golding as well, as he put these boys on an inhabited island. What happens when there are no grownups and not a clear set of rules? How do kids behave?
Golding describes the differences between the young (littluns) and the older (biguns) whereas the littluns are too young to understand everything and the biguns should be the leaders. The story begins with Ralph and Piggy on an island. Ralph, in my opinion, thinks he can say everything he wants hence calling Piggy ‘Piggy’. Piggy is very wise for his age but doesn’t get that recognition. Perhaps because of how he looks like, the name they all call him, or perhaps because they don’t understand him at all. The boys find a conch, a shell that can produce a loud sound. When they use the conch, more boys appear around them. Ralph and Piggy are no longer alone. Will this make it easier or more complicated?
The actual Lord of the Flies has one of the best symbolic meanings in the book. Even with this monster (or not?) in the story, to me, the book is more psychological (human behavior, moral) than symbolic. Although some might disagree. The good thing is that we all read and interpret books differently.
I liked the story because I am quite interested in human behavior. Would things really happen this way? Well, that’s something we won’t know for sure. We all think we know how kids behave because we were once a kid ourselves. However, times change and not every kid is the same. Yes, some events are unavoidable but sometimes kids can surprise us. Let’s just hope it won’t ever happen.
I would recommend this story to everyone who wants to read a classic and is interested in human behavior and psychology.