Lord of the Flies Book Review

This is not so much a book review as a book discussion. I am unqualified to interpret the intricacies of “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. Published in 1954 this book has been compared to the works of Orwell, Salinger, Shakespeare, and others. It has been explained as portraying psychology, religion, politics, and morality. One thing is clear, “Lord of the Flies” is not the novel it might appear on the surface. 

I first read this book many years ago and remembered it had a profound effect on me but I did not remember all the details which is what brought me to reread it recently. I am glad I did. At any point in life, we are likely to see things differently due to our more recent personal experiences. 

Briefly, the story is about a group of young boys stranded on an idyllic island. They begin to organize by choosing a leader and setting down rules, but all structure falls rapidly apart. What the boys experience and the atrocities they commit are shocking and thought-provoking. Childhood innocence becomes a debatable virtue. 

I imagine most of you have read this classic and I am interested in what you made of it. Does it demonstrate the innocence of humankind or our innate evil? Is it about democracy and totalitarianism? What does it tell us about society today, if anything? Is there a moral to this story about children?

If by chance you have not read this cult classic I recommend you do so.


“When I wrote ‘Lord of the Flies’ – I had no idea it would even get published.” William Golding



2 thoughts on “Lord of the Flies Book Review

  1. I read it a long time ago. Maybe I need to go back and read it again. It certainly is a good point that as we change, we would see a book in a different way.

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  2. Like so many my age, this was a book from many years ago and my mind is somewhat rusty, shall we say. In one way, it showed the importance of structure. In another, the wonder of exploration. I was raised in a very orderly household, where “everything has its place and a place for everything” prevailed. In one way, with nine people in the house, order made it easier for everyone. Still, I loved the occasions when we explored, and went beyond the routine. Looking through my rearview mirror now, I wish there had been more of the spontaneous adventures. When we had those, we survived, and got a new appreciation for nature. It might have been rigging together a rod and reel from a limb with a string and safety pin attached to try to catch a frog or unnamed fish. It was the kite-flying, strapping Dad’s old Army blanket to our shoulders and jumping off a garage roof or a coping (which seemed huge from a child’s eye)., or crafting a crude scooter out of an old soft drink crate and affixing roller skates on the bottom. As Edith Bunker might say, “Those were the days”.

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