Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Published in 1954 (I finished it on March 07, 2018)

Once again, I had a student reading this book for high school, so I obtained a copy and plowed through it. Ah, it’s as good as the first time. Better, in fact. The prose is outstanding with carefully placed symbolism and imagery throughout. This book can be analyzed on so many different levels and in so many different ways.

Or one can just read it as a great story.

One huge element for me was a commentary at the end. A writer had observed that the boys are finally rescued by the British Navy and once again returned to a society where laws and adults would keep the boys from running amok and killing each other.

And yet, that’s essentially what the ship in the British Navy was doing (it’s World War II).

And wow! That really struck deep. The foundation of the theme (for me) was that if adults are taken away, then children will soon abandon any semblance of the rule of law and turn to chaotic and neanderthal ways of lifeĀ—primordial motivations dictating behavior. And adults are needed to ensure this does not happen.

And yet, wars exist in many places today (as they did then). Adults often act no better than the kids. In fact, in the past few months, I’ve watched top-level politicians pretty much say, “I can beat you up!” And these were old men! As well, countries run by such “adults” have started expelling diplomats because, well, “You did it to me first!” Or international policy becomes a matter of “He started it!”

Perhaps Golding was not making a commentary on children after all.