Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
reviewed by Emma Condit
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies tells the captivating story of a group of boys who are stranded on an island and have to establish society, morals, and a new way of life. This group of british boys with ages ranging from six to fourteen, approximately, survive a plane crash and are left stranded on an uninhabited island. The boys are quick to establish order, using a beautiful conch shell to summon everyone for meetings. However, the longer the boys stay on the island, the true meaning of the conch shell begins to diminish. These complete strangers must establish society and a new way of life without the help of adults.
Observing the daily lives of the boys is fascinating because, as they lose their sanity, the reader sees their morals change significantly. They go from working together to build shelter and make fire to fighting and stealing from each other. As I read, my curiosity of who would rebel next kept me eagerly turning the pages. The bizarre environment and setting of Lord of the Flies kept me constantly questioning each character’s choice. Ralph ponders life when he wonders “If faces were different when lit from above of below- what was a face? What was anything?” (Golding 72). Ralph’s existential thoughts resonate with me and allow me to understand more fully what the boys go through on the island. Because the boys lose their sense of civility so quickly, Lord of the Flies also provoked in me some self-reflection, causing the me to wonder what would happen to me if I was on the island. Because Lord of the Flies is filled with action and gore along with introspection, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thrilling survival story. I found the masterfully written novel Lord of the Flies extremely interesting and I hope you will too!