14 thoughts on “Lord Of The Flies”

  1. On Facebook I left this comment, and got a like from Glenn: “I wonder if it makes a difference that the boys came from a basically high-cooperation society.” Golding may have hit on an element of truth, that a civilization mindset doesn’t come automatically, but I think he underestimated pre-adolescents.

  2. The story is still as true as any. If those six boys had been of the same outlook as author, William Golding, they could have ended up dead.

    An author’s biases can’t be removed. Some get quite preachy as in this case. Still, I think the fault is not with the book or its heavy-handed author. It’s his tale, he can tell it how he likes. The problem rather is in taking the resulting story too seriously. It’s educational to read stories from a heavily biased author for this could help with critical thinking.

    I have run across a lot of people who confuse interesting stories with reality. It can be something as simple as expecting that the mention of a movie somehow proves a point, or shoehorning reality and fellow people into the roles of some delusional morality tale. But perhaps, if they had been taught early on the distinctions between fiction and reality, they might be more resistant to this mode of intellectual failure.

    1. Yes and it shows the power of story over humans. There must be an evolutionary link here as storytelling has been so critical to humanity over the last several hundred thousand years.

    2. Karl, you mean “Lord of the Flies” is a work of fiction and shouldn’t be cited as a historical tale of a true story? I’m not sure many can wrap their heads around that concept.

  3. After having discovered it on my own (no way in hell something so optimistic will maks it onto a highschool reading list), i remarked that jules vernes mysterious island was “the anti-lord of the flies”.

    I was a nerdy introverted social outcast as a kid, and even i recognized the LOTF portrayal of teenage human nature as a bit slanderous. Seldom do boyscouts and campers end up reverting to barbarism. Seems real shipwrecked do better also.

    1. Unlike my schoolmates and teachers, I never understood the entertainment or educational value of reading about idiots murdering each other idiotically. I much prefer Heinlein’s “Tunnel in the Sky”. According to RAH’s biographer, “I asked Mrs. Heinlein whether the book was written as a direct response to LotF, and she said they did not have a copy of the book until after TitS was written. Heinlein may have been participating in the public debate without specifically rejoining the book.”

  4. Some confuse interesting stories with reality, others confuse interesting stories with their author. I’m familiar with both issues.

    That said, I haven’t read “Lord of the Flies” since I was a boy and don’t intend to reread it. I remember thinking that this was about the same sort of boys you saw in “Tom Brown’s School Days,” which in my world you called preppies. I think of it as sort of like “Gossip Girl” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

  5. “Lord of the Flies” was an allegory on totalitarianism. Nothing more or less. I bares the same relation to what Golding actually thought would happen if a group of boys were marooned, if he even had one, as “Animal Farm” has to livestock raising.

  6. I also suspect that hippy motorcycle riders in the South in 1969 had an average life expectancy of more than about three days, due to local hatred of hippies, despite what was portrayed in “Easy Rider”.

    1. “Swiss Family Robinson” was one of my two favorite books when I was eight years old (the other was “Stand by for Mars!”) and I spent many happy hours drawing maps of the story landscape. On the other hand, pruning the Western Canon down to children’s books is probably not going to accomplish much of of anything. There’s nothing wrong with an intelligent child reading difficult books, provided the reading is voluntary. I think I read “Lord of the Flies” when I was 14, around the same time as I read Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” I thought both of them were more interesting than “Lord of the Rings.” I’ve always been opposed to “assigned reading,” as it’s a sort of literary affirmative action program. The idea that there should be a “canon,” chosen by anybody, no matter how well meaning, is anathema.

      1. Canon of modern Western Literature

        The Godfather


        The Great Gatsby

        The Scarlet Letter

        Remember my rant about how The Godfather and Dune are the same novel as are The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter.

        How can The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter be the same when one is about a “free swinging era” and the other is the synonym of repression of various human impulses. It’s a geek thing and both James Gatz aka Jay Gatsby along with Roger Prynne aka Chillingworth are geek beta-dudes.

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