Lord of the Flies by William Golding

by lucycarrick03gmailcom | Monday 16th of January 2023

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Published: 1954

Country: United Kingdom

Publisher: Faber and Faber

Lord of the Flies is the first and most famous novel by William Golding. The author set out to write an alternative to The Coral Island – a Victorian novel where boys cope heroically with shipwreck on a desert island. Golding’s own experiences in World War II and the apparently impending threat of a nuclear World War III led him to suggest that even well brought-up British children had the seed of evil within themselves.

What happens to the boys on Golding’s island that civilisation is a mask that disguises primitive savagery. The book hints that an atomic war rages elsewhere thus tapping into the terrors many felt in the 1950s. At first it seems as if the boys’ landing on the island is a happy escape as they try to impose order and good sense, but the hopes of characters like Ralph and Piggy begin to unravel as restraint and moral order are lost under the dominance of Jack. Soon tribalism and a primal version of religion take over, as if the characters are regressing towards mankind’s past.

The apparent rescue at the end cannot hide the terrible events preceding it, and also reminds us that the “civilised” world too is on the brink of destruction.

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