lord of the flies by william golding

What it is About?

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. 

Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. 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 is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

First Chapter, First Paragraph

The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon. Though he had taken off his school sweater and trailed it now from one hand, his grey shirt stuck to him and his hair was plastered to his forehead. All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. 

He was clambering heavily among the creepers and broken trunks when a bird, a vision of red and yellow, flashed upwards with a witch-like cry; and this cry was echoed by another.

“Hi!” it said. “Wait a minute!”

The undergrowth at the side of the scar was shaken and a multitude of raindrops fell pattering.

“Wait a minute,” the voice said. “I got caught up.”
The fair boy stopped and jerked his stockings with an automatic gesture that made the jungle seem for a moment like the Home Counties.

The voice spoke again.

“I can’t hardly move with all these creeper things.”

The owner of the voice came backing out of the undergrowth so that twigs scratched on a greasy wind-breaker. The naked crooks of his knees were plump, caught and scratched by thorns. He bent down, removed the thorns carefully, and turned around. He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat. He came forward, searching out safe lodgments for his feet, and then looked up through thick spectacles.

“Where’s the man with the megaphone?”

The fair boy shook his head.

“This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere.”

The fat boy looked startled.

“There was that pilot. But he wasn’t in the passenger cabin, he was up in front.”

Check Out Our Other First Chapter, First Paragraph

Why You Should Check This Out...

This is one of those books that as I got older, I became more aware of how messed up some of the themes are and how good the writing is. I think it is one of those books that you could read every decade of your life and get different things from it. I think I will reread it again in a few years when I am surrounded by puppies and kittens and everything is grand. 

This book is harsh. You may like it. You may hate it. Honestly, it is a book that will affect you in some way. I first read it in high school and have carried it with me since then. It illustrates the dark side of humanity, in what should be the least dark part of humans, kids. 

Tell me what you think!

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