Book Review of Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
In this book review, I want to show the contribution of the author in revealing to us the darkness of man’s heart and the inner barbarity that humans possess. The author shows us that man’s ferocity is not discriminated by the level of civilization or age. This is why he uses young English school boys to portray his message. Britain, the origin of the young school boys, is also an epitome of etiquette and advancement. It also symbolizes a high rank of civilization and the children symbolize the innocence of human beings. However, we see in the novel, that the young Britons who are expected to act civil and have a lawful kind of behavior turn into savages and start killing one another, fighting for power and manipulating the rest of their colleagues. The purpose of the young school boys is to reveal the innate evil that man possesses right from childhood. It shows us that man is born with a dark side and it takes boredom and indolence for it to function wholly.
Ralph and Piggy’s first encounter, Simon and Piggy’s death are some of the verifications to the innate evil that man possesses. Piggy is bullied by Ralph who later becomes his only loyal friend. We can all relate to this as most of our children or siblings suffer bullying from their peers and this vastly affects them. Simon is killed by his colleagues after being mistaken for the beast and Piggy is killed by Jack’s hunters. Ralph who symbolizes good leadership, civilization and morality is elected the leader of the flock, however, Jack who symbolizes selfishness, amorality and greed for power finds a way to overthrow Ralph and such an act is evident in our leaders today. The author in this case sends us a message that, all this malevolence and immorality that we witness in the government is not something new, rather it is a situation where we let our evil side overcome the good side. The most significant feature of this book is the imaginative existence of a beast. Jack supports the existence of the beast even when he knows it does not exist to manipulate the other boys into obeying him and submitting to his will in exchange for their safety. What they do not realize is that, the beast is the evil that exists in each and every one of them. The quotation below reveals Simon’s opinion on the beast.
‘What I mean is……..Maybe it’s only us.’ Chapter 5 Pg. 89
This is what Simon says as the other boys try to describe and give their own opinion on what or who this beast is. The above quotation is a clear indication of mankind’s basic illness. The schoolboys always feared and searched for the beast not knowing that they themselves were the beasts through their vicious activities and behavior.
The author discloses the role a society plays in shaping man’s manners through the laws imposed by the leaders. This is because, the longer the school boys were away from the human society and grown-ups, the more their moral sense eroded. This is the reason as to why the appearance of the naval officer on the island makes the boys aware of their misconduct and for the first time they are remorseful.
‘Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true friend, wise friend called Piggy.’ Pg. 202
That quotation is found at the end of chapter twelve close to the finale of the novel when Ralph is saved from a near death experience by the arrival of a naval officer. The above quotation is Ralph’s sudden realization that he is safe and has been rescued, however he also realizes that he has lost his innocence as his life will never be the same again after the island experience. This is because he learns of the evil that exists within all human beings.
This book is significant because it makes one understand the origin of man’s cruelty and the reason as to why our societies are filled with crime.Sir William Gerald Golding was born on the 19th September, 1911 and died at the age of 81. He was a British novelist, playwright and poet. He won a Nobel Prize award in Literature and he was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature. Golding was knighted by Elizabeth II in 1988.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
|Sir William Golding.|