Lord of the Flies
Genre: fiction, dystopia, YA, classics
Classic novel by a Nobel prize winner about a group of boys who, after a plane crash, set up a primitive society on an uninhabited island.
This book sickens on so many levels but it is unfortunately quite a faithful portrait of humanity at its worst. We’ve got the mindless mob which follows whoever promises what they desire at the moment, then there are the sadists and egomaniacs who relish any kind of power over others, and at last the few moral thinkers, nurturers. Guess who survives the island. This book is not something you should ever read when you’re in a bad mood as it is likely to make you even angrier.
“The mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-conciousness.”
I can’t believe that anyone would relish inflicting pain on anyone (even emotional pain when we’re talking about it). The other thing I can’t quite fathom is that anyone would be dumb enough to follow a boy who displays a startling amount of violence and sadism towards everyone else. And yet the one with the most followers is the sadistic Jack. I find it ironic that he was a member of a church choir, or maybe it fits the profile to a T. There’s correlation with strict religious upbringing and violence after all, but I’m still wary of saying this is the reason he turns bad. He just had it in him and the island where he could do whatever he wanted without real checks corrupted him to the core.
“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”
The hunting scenes are revolting. If the boys found crabs, how come they couldn’t fish as well? Must they truly hunt pigs and kill them in such a brutal fashion? The author makes you participate in this bloody slaughter – really, I can’t even. The other thing I was slightly in shock at the time of my reading (and which I now know is a default setting for some adults as well) is that you don’t shit where you eat or sleep. It’s a no brainer but these boys behave as if the first lesson they learned – where to do your business – simply escaped them. A toilet certainly isn’t near the garden or where you pick up food. The sheer mindlessness of this annoyed me to no end.
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”
I wasn’t surprised the mob of boys managed to turn into killers. When they decided to hunt their own people because they couldn’t be bothered to hunt pigs, I was done. The best decision the sailors who finally came to the island could have come to would be to take the one boy being hunted, and maybe some repentant figures, and let the rest ‘enjoy’ their island. I doubt they were fit to be released upon society. The only person who behaved like a human and cared about each individual was Piggy and they utterly destroyed that boy.
“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.”
Gosh, I hate books that destroy my faith in humanity. I believe I need puppies to wipe my mind of this depressing book even now. It may be a classic, but it is super depressing for me.