Lord of the Flies


Of all the books that I’ve recently had. This was the one I was looking forward to read most. Maybe because of the reviews that I’ve read about it. And also because it’s mostly ranked as one of the books that everyone should read. It wasn’t what I’ve expected and I guess the book won’t suit everyone, but for me I could say that this was one of the best piece of literature that I have read.

The story starts at an island where a group of English schoolboys were plane-wrecked on in the midst of the second world war. Without the supervision of adults and the rules that bound society. The boys were ecstatic to explore and have fun in the island. It was all fun and games at first, but as some problems arise it was that when we see this civility turn into cruelty and savagery.

There are three main players in the story there’s Ralph and Piggy (represents reason and civility) and then there’s Jack (represents anarchy and savagery). Ralph was the the appointed leader of the marooned boys since he was the one who found the conch (the groups sign of power and right to speak).

There were two groups of boys in the island the littluns (little kids that for me represents man’s innocence) and the bigguns (the bigger kids that took care of things on the island). And in the bigguns there’s Jack’s group, the hunters who were in charge of the food. There are also appointed people on top of the mountain to light up a signal fire in hopes of rescue. All in all everyone have their appointed duties so it was all well (except for the littluns who just wants to play and doesn’t cooperate at times).

The problems starts to arise when one kid disappears one night which signals the loss of innocence on the island. That is when the story of a beast surfaces in the group. Everyone became fearful but still life continued on the island. As days passed without being rescued Jack who wants to replace Ralph as the leader slowly draws the influence of the boys away from him. Because of them being more inclined in the adventures of hunting which Jack is in-charge of.

One night there was an aerial battle above the island and one pilot floats down with his parachute opened. Thinking that it was the beast the group went into a panic. Worse comes to worst the group was splintered in two having the majority of the group siding with Jack. Leaving only a handful to Ralph.

Being fearful of the suspected beast on the mountain Jack’s faction left a sow’s head (which they hunted) on a stick as an offering for the beast. Only Simon had the courage to check out what fell and saw that it was a dead body of a soldier. This was were he had hallucinations and had a talk with the Sow’s head which is then turned out to be the Lord of the flies (best part of the book). All Simon’s suspicion where true upon learning from the sow’s head why things are what they are in the island (the beast is not real but what’s real is the innate savagery in everyone of us). In an attempt to deliver the news to the others Simon went down the mountain into their camps only to find Jack and the others in a tribal frenzy whilst dancing. Perceiving poor Simon as the beast Jack and the others beat him up to death.

Only three then were left in Ralph’s group including him in Piggy upon Simon’s death. Jack’s group took the opportunity then to take Piggy’s glasses which were vital in lighting the signal fire in the mountain. Losing the means to light the fire Ralph’s faction decided to go to Jack’s and request the return of it. Things got ugly resulting to Piggy’s death at the hand of the hunters.

In the last part of the story Jack commanded a manhunt to track down and kill Ralph, while burning the forest in the process to lessen his hiding places. But that move made a passing ship took notice of the island. A naval officer came just in time to save Ralph from the hands of the now savage schoolboys. Upon seeing an adult after a very long time the boys then all cried being taken back to reality that their island was not the whole world.

Lord of the flies show the reader a man’s capacity to do evil. It also tells us that order in the society still depends on the nature of the person however just the society may be. The whole island is like a microscopic representation of a society that is devoid of rules and order. It is full of symbolism and each character represents something.

I guess for me the author William Golding here made it so we can see that it was an adventure novel only to find as we continue reading that it was an allegorical story of human’s civility and it’s innate savagery. An unending struggle within us between good and evil.


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