Okay… so Lord of the Flies…. Man, this book was really kind of hard to follow, let alone read. I know it is supposed to be a classic and a book of the ages or what have you. But geez.. the kids in this book are NUTS!
Let me start from the beginning. First off, William Golding totally just drops you into the world along with these poor boys, and from the get-go, I was totally confused. This was one of many sections that I just couldn’t follow what the heck was happening. In my, oh so humble, opinion there should have been at least three to four chapters of information leading up to where you are thrown into the book. I get the whole trying to disorient the reader so they are figuring things out along with the kids, but dang… I have not had to google what the heck was going on in a book for YEARS but I had to do that with this one just to figure out if I missed something, or even if maybe I got a messed up copy and was missing a chunk of the book. Seriously, it was that rough. From there, the whole chaos continued. My suggestion, definitely wait until after mealtime to read some parts of the book. They discuss pig slaughter in too much detail for my stomach. Oh yeah and murder! These kids casually kill some of their fellow members stranded on the island. Something is seriously messed up in a few of these boy’s heads. There are a few good souls among them, but they end up getting either brutally murdered or completely traumatized.
All in all, I can see how this book is a great example of the savagery inside every human when put into a situation that is ideal to create it. One of the main characters, Ralph, even switches from referring to the other boys on the island by their first names to simply calling them savages. The shift that Ralph goes through, from thinking he is in paradise and loving it to realizing that if he wants to not die on that island, he needs to get home; fast.
It is heartbreaking to see what this kid goes through but is also intermixed with some crazy usual kid things. For example, they have a rule where no one but who is holding a conch shell can speak. Yet they all get into fighting matches about who can be talking, none of whom actually has the shell. Another example was whenever one of the boys would get upset or storm off, they would yell “I don’t want to play with you anymore!” They also adamantly only refer to this poor kid as Piggy. (In their defense, he probably shouldn’t have told anyone that it was his previous nickname, but still, it's cruel.) It is little things like that which jolt you back into the reality that these are kids!!! The oldest of them is 12 years old. It’s that fact that throws into sharp relief some of the situations and decisions that they have to make.
So to sum up, this book is... interesting. Probably not one I will read again, but I am glad I can cross it off of my To Read list.
Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
Stay awesome and spread the light!