15th October 2017

Reading #2 ( Lord of the flies )

  • Title: Lord Of The Flies
  • Type: Extended
  • Author: William Golding

“Lord Of The Flies” is a novel based in the middle of a world war, about a bunch of English schoolboys who get marooned on a tropical island after their plane is shot down. The pilot dies in the plane crash leaving the group of six to twelve-year-old boys with no adult supervision. At first, their freedom and independence is exciting and enjoyable, they splash and play in the water most days, eating nearby fruit and foraging for food. However, the hope of being rescued can only keep them sane for so long. Ralph, (one of the main characters) believes that they should be maintaining the signal fire on the mountain to increase chances of getting rescued and building huts for shelter from the harsh sun and weather, the others don’t seem to be as motivated to help or put in work. Early on in the novel this already shows us a trait of Ralphs personality, leadership and his strong faith to be rescued. As the absence of civilization and the lack of order takes its toll, the boys become a threat to themselves and the island turns into a dangerous place. As they begin to lose faith in survival the savagery within each boy comes out.

In this novel, Golding portrays how personality affects the development of society, for example, if Jack (one of the main characters) was not on the island perhaps things wouldn’t have ended up how they did. The clash in dominance between Jack and Ralph sparked the beginning of the downfall of the novel. Jack was the leader of the hunters and becomes increasingly preoccupied with the act of hunting.

One day when Ralph spots a ship on the horizon he shouts “Smoke smoke” indicating that he can see “Smoke in a tight knot on the horizon, uncoiling slowly” Ralph gets a jolt of hope only to have it denied to him once he sees that there is no smoke coming from the signal fire on top of the mountain. It had been the hunter’s responsibility to maintain the signal fire and jack had taken them on a hunt instead. This disrespected Ralph who was the leader of the group and intensely frustrated him. Ralph greets the hunters with “you let the fire go out” and then continues to repeat this line several times to make a point. In the glory of successfully killing a pig jack was irritated by Ralphs irrelevance, however “this repetition made Jack uneasy” and he replies with excuses of why he needed all the hunters he could get.

This event was the major turning point in Jack and Ralphs relationship and because both boys were stubborn and dominant, neither would back down or admit to wrong because of the power struggle between them. I can relate to this with my mother because we are both dominant females we often disagree. When she tells me what to do, a lot of the time she is right but I don’t want to admit this to her because it would make me feel powerless, and challenge my subconscious ego. Through reading the book it gives me a better understanding of the social hierarchy and power struggles which we all go through as humans, to be respected by other people proves to ourselves that we have value and when we admit we are wrong we fear the loss of respect. A lot of the real-life situations in our world include aspects of power and respect.

“Lord Of The Flies” by William Golding has a meaningful plot and enforces the message that we are all savages within, we have been brainwashed and adapted to civilization and rules, Golding portrays the true potential of self-destruction and the effects of savagery being unleashed. I think this is important to understand the human potential in a time where the global warming crisis and political conflict are heightened I think we can learn from “Lord Of The Flies” and prevent similar mistakes to happen in our world.

Personally I did not enjoy reading “Lord Of The Flies”, I found myself getting frustrated by the miscommunication and unnecessary conflict between the characters, it was difficult to read because of the complex sentence structure and the flow wasn’t as smooth as other books, such as, “My Side Of The Mountain”. “Lord Of The Flies” is also heavy on description, Golding goes into detail describing the island, ocean, jungle and the boy’s activities, sometimes I got lost and found it hard to picture what exactly he was illustrating. However the book gave me a greater understanding of the world and human nature, the book changed my perception of power and respect and made me realise the link between the two are closer than I previously thought.

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About Fiona

Born in Christchurch, One of New Zealand's children, dweller of the south island, I enjoy being called Fi, thanks. Spelling needs work. Yep. Nice.