Lord of the Flies – Book Review

This review contains spoilers.

Lord of the Flies is a classic. It is a book about a group of boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. As they struggle to keep some kind of order and establish a form of hierarchy things unravel into a frightful scene of death, betrayal, and depravity.

I read this book when I was in high school and I was amazed at how much I had forgotten about it. Left on our own without law or moral standard, we are just like these boys. Whoever doesn’t believe in total depravity and who thinks that man is morally good, really doesn’t understand how naturally vile we are. This book was horrible. The way Simon dies, I had forgotten and I had to stop reading for a bit because of the violence committed to him. Towards the end Ralph is chased around the island and I was so relieved when help finally came. Also, when the female pig is killed, what a horrendous scene. William Golding is a great story teller. At the beginning of the book he explains that when he wrote about the boys on the Island, he wrote about how boys naturally behave around each other and when adults are not around. I found it very interesting when he writes about the boys forgetting what they were going to say or the inability of saying the right things or having difficulty of explaining what they are thinking. I have four boys, and I have noticed that they often times can’t put into words what is going on in their mind and they do quickly forget their train of thought. This was interesting to me. There were so many thoughts that came to mind as I read. How is anyone good? What keeps us from becoming like these boys? Although I am aware of the atrocities committed everyday, I do live in a country were I am safe. There are people all around me who own guns, who are stronger than me, who have access to cars, shovels, pick axes, bows, knifes and other potential weapons and they don’t kill me even when I anger them. Is it the law? Maybe. Is it their conscience? Maybe. This is why I believe this book has become a classic. It raises a lot of questions about ourselves and it is good to delve into the conundrums, mysteries and philosophies of human nature.

I recommend this book to older teenage boys, I don’t think teenage girls will really enjoy a bunch of boys being degenerate with one another. I also recommend it to the adult who has already read it. I think as adults, re-reading classics is very beneficial, now that our brains are a little more developed. If you haven’t read this book, I recommend it if you like books about adventure and/or dystopian settings.

Bible verses that came to mind when I read this book:

  • All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. – Romans 3:12
  • For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries. – Mark 7:21

You can buy this book here.