“ Have you ever imagined the things a little boy and his school mates would do if they got stranded on an island? In the book “Lord of the Flies”, William Golding tells the story of a British boy named Ralph who survived a plane crash while being evacuated from England. The story begins when Ralph wakes up and finds another boy who was in the crash, the boy’s real name is never given but he is known as “Piggy”. Together they travel towards a beach, grab a conch shell to blow into and wait for the other boys to find them by following the sound of the conch. When they gather Ralph is appointed chief of the new tribe the boys make. One of the boys Jack Merridew, a chorus leader, becomes leader of the hunters, which is made up of the chorus group. At first the boys just play around not getting much done. The one thing they do get done is building a fire on top of the mountain located in the middle of the island. Then when night falls, “a little”, the title of the boys who are a lot younger than the rest, tells Ralph that he saw a monster in the forest. The name of the monster is “the beast”. Later in the story Jack leaves the tribe with his hunters and makes his own tribe. He does this because of a power struggle among the boys. He believes that he should be the leader, not Ralph and believes that it is more important to hunt then to build a fire on a mountain in hopes of being rescued. Eventually all the boys leave the original tribe, because Jack has the food. Jack then turns crazy with power and issues a manhunt on Ralph. During the manhunt, Ralph runs back to the beach and he finds a ship that had docked. A naval officer comes out of the boat and looks a Ralph and says ““Are there any adults --- any grownups with you?” Dumbly, Ralph shook his head.” (Golding pg. 200)
The idea of this book, a group of young British boys getting trapped on an island with no parents, was amazing. It had a lot of potential; however, the actual book I thought was not entirely believable. The author chose to have the group not listen to the only boy who knew what he was talking about, Piggy, they make fun of him and they didn’t listen to a thing he said. Also, Jack automatically thought that he was the best because he was the leader of the chorus group. Furthermore, Ralph believed that his father, who is in the Navy, knows where the island is located and would pick him up the next day. Then towards the end of the book they all realized that Piggy was right, Jack had no idea what he was doing, and they might not actually get rescued.
I thought that the ending was rushed. It appeared as if the author ran out of things to say and ended the book very quickly. The ending of the book was that, Ralph was being hunted and was running for his life, when he saw a boat and thought “We’re saved!” Seriously that’s basically what happened. I was so disappointed. Also, when Ralph said two of the kids were dead the naval officer thought they were playing a game. Who would think a bunch of kids on an unchartered island were just playing a game and were kidding about two of the kids being dead? The guy basically didn’t take Ralph seriously.
Within the story there were several examples of symbolism, for example the author uses “the Beast” to symbolize fear. When you were little you most likely thought there was a monster in your closet or under your bed, but for the kids on the island there is no one to tell them it doesn’t exist. Another example of symbolism is the conch shell. In the tribe of school boys whoever has the conch can speak, so it is looked at as whoever has the conch has power. Another symbol in the book was the fire on top of the mountain. The fire symbolized the kid’s only chance of being rescued.
I couldn’t find much irony in this book. A lot of the things that happened in the book didn’t surprise me or turn out different. However, I did find an example of irony. At the end the naval officer said, “We saw your smoke.” (Golding pg. 201) The irony in this is that the whole time Jack and his followers thought that the fire was not necessary, but it turns out that without the fire they probably would have never been found.
This book did have some historical references. If you look on the back of the book it says “At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of school boys.” In this sentence it’s telling us that the time period this book is based on is right before or during World War II.
Surprisingly, I do recommend this book for anyone. The idea of the book was amazing, but the only problem was the book wasn’t believable. I did enjoy reading “Lord of the Flies” and it was interesting to see what kids would do on a stranded island with no parents. However, I was disappointed in the ending as it appeared that William Golding rushed to a conclusion for the story.