Author: William Golding.
I thought I’d give this a read considering it’s a classic and it has inspired so many “crash-land-on-an-island” narratives. It follows the story of a group of English boys who end up on island after their plane crashes. It chronicles their struggle for survival, the construction of a sort of orderly system and the eventual collapse of their “society.”
The first two thirds of this novel dragged a lot. The events were repetitive and the narrative was extremely dull. I nearly gave up on it. Ralph gets elected as the leader and his friend Piggy is his assistant/ closest confidant. The kids agree and are all given certain duties like food, fire, wood, etc. I felt that this was a good start but I would have liked their “society” to have been developed further so that its collapse was more dramatic. I know they were only kids on an island but it would have been better to see more of system in place because then the philosophical allegory would have been stronger.
The pacing was a problem. As I said the first two thirds were basically some kids complaining about the “beast” and Ralph & co. kept going on about tending the fire so that a ship would find them. I also felt as though Jack & his gang were too abrasive from the beginning so it was predictable that they would eventually break away and create a counter tribe. And I think I might go crazy if I hear “littlun” one more time.
However, once the counter tribe comes into being the story becomes ultimately more interesting. The action picks up and there’s a real sense of danger. I liked the idea that most of the boys became corrupted and didn’t realise how violent they were. It gave it an interesting political allegory that “civilised” boys actually have a beast inside them. The violence was very provocative, especially during the brutal murder of one of the boys. I really enjoyed how it became a thriller and Ralph had to try and escape from the rest of the boys who were out the kill him. The exciting latter third of the piece saved it for me.