The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, an adventure and suspense story, is written in 1857. The story sets on an deserted Pacific coral island. A group of school boys are marooned on this island after a plane crash on a trip to Australia.
The story begins with a large number of school boys on an uninhabited tropical island and two of the elder boys who have leadership qualities compete to achieve a semblance of order so as to survive. Ralph, who has found a conch and blows it to summon all the boys to a meeting, is concerned about the well being of everyone, while Jack is more concerned with making rules and punishing offenders. However, only one firm rule is established by Ralph and that is only the person holding the conch will be permitted to speak at meetings. The two leaders soon discover that they do not like each other because of their difference priorities and the conflict begins between them. It causes the group to split into two, with Jack=s followers being in the majority.
Ralph is concerned with building shelters, arranging work and on being rescued but Jack only wants to roam the jungle and hunt. The failure to establish rules soon creates confusion and inappropriate behavior encouraged by Jack. Ralph=s only supporter is Piggy, a fat asthmatic boys who nobody likes because he is always lecturing and criticizing everyone=s behavior. Jack bullies him constantly and the other boys make fun of him. Jack and his followers spend most of their time hunting for wild pigs so Ralph=s efforts to organize the group fail. By now, most of the older boys are beginning to act like savages, hunting wild pigs, going into a frenzy when they succeed and celebrate their kill with wild dancing around a fire.
One night during an air-battle, a body of a parachutist lands on the island and has become tangled on some rocks on the mountain. A rumor of a [email protected] on their island discovers that the beast the parachutist but unfortunately never has the opportunity to tell the others. He is mistaken for the beast and is accidentally killed during a wild celebration feast that takes place after a successful hunt by Jack and his followers. Later on, Ralph=s last follower is also killed but not by accident.
Ralph has lost all his followers and is pursued by the others who want to kill him. Will he survive? And who is the Lord of the Flies?
The story, full of suspense and horror, captures my imagination and my interest throughout. The author=s message of what mankind must guard against if the human race is to survive is depicted through the boys= rapid transformation from school boys to savages. In the novel, Ralph represents democratic societies while he tries to hold a civil society together where every man is allowed personal freedom of thought and actions and Jack represents dictators in the world who seek to establish a society wherein a person is told that only if he contributes to making his country the most powerful on Earth may be important as an individual.
Lord of the Flies is a novel exploring the disintegration of a society.