Like all great books, Lord of the Flies can be read by anyone at any level. A great adventure story about a group of boys (aged twelve and under) find themselves unsupervised on a desert island. What fun. Read at a deeper level, this is a very disturbing story about human nature and how far we have evolved from being savages. The narrative is easy to understand despite the book being nearly seventy years old, only some of the dialogue seems dated.
When the boys first arrive there are noble plans to elect a 'chief' who makes decisions and is a general leader. Nobody speaks unless they are holding the large conch shell, which is also used to call them together for an assembly. The shell becomes the symbol of democracy throughout the book. The three main rules are simple and practical: to always maintain a fire thus a smoke signal so that passing ships can rescue them, to survive, and have fun.
The book could be seen as an allegory about humanity and society, with the use of children demonstrating the loss of innocence when left to fend for themselves without regulation. Each character represents a different aspect of human nature. Are we innately good or evil?
Terrifying and brilliant. There is a reason why this novel is a classic. Recommended for everyone.
ONE OF THE BBC'S '100 NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD'
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
Originally published by Faber & Faber on 17 October 1954. This edition published on 12 March 2012.