Book Reviews

Book Review: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is a modern literary classic written by William Golding. The book begins with a plane crashing into a deserted island and the only survivors are a group of British school boys aged 13 and under. Most of the boys don’t know each other apart from a group of them who are part of a school band.
Some of the schoolboys include
Ralph – he is chosen as the Chief of the group because of his attractive looks and apparent leadership skills.
Jack – the leader of the band, resentful at not being voted Chief but still leading some of the boys to hunt for pigs on the island.
Simon – a quiet and sensitive boy, apparently ‘odd’ to the others around his age.
Piggy – an intelligent, bespectacled and overweight boy, unfortunately, nicknamed thus. He is the boy picked on by the others.
Sam and Eric – A pair of twins who do everything together and are almost a single entity.
Roger – A member of Jack’s band and his group of hunters.
What starts off as an attempt to run a society with rules and regulations until they can be rescued eventually goes pear-shaped. At night, the boys’ dreams, particularly the little ones, are haunted by an image of a terrifying beast. A rift occurs between the older boys in terms of leadership. And finally, their behaviour becomes more savage and takes on a murderous turn not necessarily for the sake of survival.
I had heard of this book years ago but only just got my hands on it thanks to my book club. It is a fantastic read. It makes you understand the importance of living in a society with law and order — and more importantly, the consequences of breaking certain rules. Through the boys’ behaviour, you can see what would happen in a society where there were no consequences. Furthermore, you get an insight into how groupthink works versus an individual thinking for himself. And how if that groupthink is not necessarily the most moral form, it can have disastrous results. For me, another issue it seemed to bring up was that some individuals in this world can in fact be born evil. All they need is the space and the trigger to engage in the evil behaviours. You can see it in the difference between some of the characters — how some thrive on murder and others have a conscience. Of course, those that thrive on the savage behaviours also have a ‘mask’ of almost anonymity to protect them. And it makes you wonder, if that were the case in society, how many individuals would be that way?
The book is quite disturbing yet fascinating. For me personally, some of the characters reminded me of some clients. And that’s a scary thought. It was made into a movie in the 60s I think and I’m curious to watch it. To sum it up, this book deserves a rating of

Until next time,
***This has been cross-posted at Bond with Books***

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  • aarongraham
    5 March 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I’m hooked! Thanks for the review!

  • Psych Babbler
    5 March 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Welcome to this space Aaron! Glad you liked the review…trust me, although quite disturbing, it is definitely an amazing book!

  • Titaxy
    7 March 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I saw this book a few months ago at the bookstore and put it on my to read list. And your review made me move the book to the top of the list 😀 can’t wait to read it!

  • Psych Babbler
    8 March 2011 at 7:02 am

    I was told about this some years ago by a teacher at the school I worked at to give some insight into children living without rules (given the kind of kids I deal with) and had been thinking of it since. It’s disturbing as I can see some of my clients possibly going down a similar path as well…but you really must read it. I’m sure you’ll like it!