Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
reviewed by Olivia Pieterse
William Golding’s wicked yet satirical fiction novel, Lord of the Flies, focuses on the lives of young boys stranded on an island.This novel analyzes the darker side of civilization and humanity. Golding intricately weaves a story through struggle, innocence, and survival.
The novel begins with “the boy with the fair hair” (Golding 1), lowering himself from some rocks towards a lagoon up ahead. This fair haired boy is Ralph, the main protagonist. The book follows Ralph and many of the boys he meets. The first boy he meets, intelligent yet awkward, is Piggy. Piggy is loyal and stays by Ralph’s side throughout the novel. Once all the boys are together, they elect Ralph be their leader. Ralph is faced with many challenges throughout the story and is constantly required to control and maintain not only his humanity, but the humanity of all the other children on the island. While reading the book a sense of dystopian society came to play. The characters in this novel, both interesting and unique, are very important not only to the novel itself, but to the understanding of innocence, evil, and destruction. Simon, courageous and noble, Piggy, overweight, intellectual and loyal, and Jack, evil and cunning are all affected by the fall of this civilization that they have created for themselves. Golding makes the island sound like a wonderful place in the beginning, but soon it is understood that this perfect world they lived in would soon turn.
Lord of the Flies fascinates readers with a story full of descriptive and satirical language, as well as imagery that captivates his audience. The use of foreshadowing, personification, and allusions make this story that much more interesting. Golding uses symbolism to spotlight the underlying issue of the destruction of innocence and human nature. He also shows us that all people contain primitive instinct that can consume us. Golding emphasizes that it is not just adults that can destroy their purity and humanity, but also children. Each chapter leaves the reader wanting more.
I recommend this book to all. This timeless tale relates to everyone. Each reader can relate to one of the boys in the novel. This book makes you question humanity and how easy it is for human nature to be destroyed without any of society’s issues influencing how people think.