Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

What would happen in a world where there were no adults? It is this question that William Golding sought to answer in Lord of the Flies. The story follows the riveting tale of schoolboys stranded on an uninhabited island following an airplane crash. Throughout the chapters, the story spins through intial surprise where the boys cannot process the reality, to their attempts to be rescued and eventually a realisation that they must fend for themselves. In the book we learn that in any society, order must exist as we see the protagonist, Ralph take charge and attempt to form some sort of government. Watching the boys not only grow but work in teams and impressively cool off after heated arguments quite quickly was something to marvel at for that young age. In the second half of the book, the tale focuses on greed and dissension, with Jake, Ralph’s right hand man, bloodthirsty quest for power. It was quite shocking to see that when reduced to conditions where the fittest survive, death comes lightly even to children. Throughout the novel, Ralph marshalls his fellow castaways to maintaining a fire to serve as a smoke signal for oncoming ships, yet efforts to this end slowly wane as time passes. We eventually realise that the Lord of the Flies is actually a very gory mental image and rather unexpected- but indeed, madness sets in on some of the main characters in the novel following a successful hunt for meat and a secession from the first social order. Whether or not they get rescued I shall leave to the reader to find out, but one thing I commend the author on is the complexity of the language juxtaposed with the age of the characters he depicts - the language seemed to get more complex as the boys lost their innocence on the island. It is definitely a classic that provides a light read.

Zawadi Mwambeyu 

Rating: 3 Worth Reading