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Book Challenge - Lord of the Flies

Perhaps I could have chosen a more uplifting inaugeral book!

Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Challenge reason: Apparently the idea of humans becoming nameless "savages" is too "demoralizing" for the youth of the world.

Summary: Boys with names end up on deserted island loaded with fruit, nuts, coconuts and pigs. Many boys lose names, cover themselves in mud, kill pigs and each other. Much depressing fun is had.


There came a pause, a hiatus, the pig continued to scream and the creepers to jerk, and the blade continued to flash at the end of a bony arm. The pause was only long enough for them to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be.

Have no fear, folks! The boys are ever so eager to slaughter some sows later on in the book. So much so that they keep picking out the females with a lot of piglets. Because that's a great way to keep the food supply well-stocked, in case you didn't know. Nevermind they have plenty of edible fruits and nuts and stuff, boys gotta hunt and gut and kill and blood-let. It's what british boys do!

Simon's mouth labored, brought forth audible words.
"Pig's head on a stick."
"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!" said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. "You knew, didn't you? I'm a part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?"

Ah yes, it's the poor butchered pig who gets to be the symbol for all that is wrong with "uncivilized" folk. If only there were more rules and glasses and conch shells to maintain order, then all would be well.

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

Piggy was a coward who clung to the rules until his dying breath. He was a socially awkward kid picked on by others and with an idol-complex directed at Ralph. He wasn't wise, in my opinion. He was trying to fit in and trying to cope. He was human, just like the rest of them.

While this is a rather depressing book, I have to admit it was a page-turner. I finished it in a little over two hours, and cringed with every turn of the page. Rather masochistic of myself, really.

Now. I think that life would have been better for the children had they stuck to the gatherer lifestyle and enjoyed the fruit and nuts and berries and coconuts. Maybe not. Some of those kids had some real bad attitudes. And the adults in the book deserve a good whallop upside the noggin like fifty-five times with sharpened spears. Just sayin.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
The Simon/Pig's head conversation has stuck with me even a decade after having read it. It made me paranoid, distrustful, and convinced that politics is only a fancy form of mob rule. In other words, it rocked!

Good luck on your book challenge!
Nov. 5th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
I think the author of the book was sort of going for 'if we don't have rules we just degenerate back into savages'. I sort of interpreted the book as society being what makes us civil, what keeps us moral, what sort of stands between us and becoming ruthless savages where we would hunt each other for sport.

Apparently, however, my husband was taught, when he read it in school, that the Pig's head is supposed to represent the Devil (Hence the Lord of the Flies) and that Simon (the quite little awkward kid who keeps trying to be moral) apparently represents Jesus, and that the people apparently kill him because he's good, apparently so that they can be evil or something like that.

Personally I like my interpretation better ^^;; But anyway! It's certainly thought provoking :)

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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