Lord of the Flies, set in World War II, is about a group of British students who are trapped on an abandoned island after their plane crashes. At first, they tried to behave in a way that was exactly what they were taught: civilized. The children voted for the leader and divided the tasks to be performed (eg hunting, setting fire, building tents, …). However, the elected leaders began to have a struggle for power, and then the entire “civilization” you built on the island collapsed in a bloody and gruesome way.
William Golding said he was inspired to write the novel Lord of flies after reading works of “The Coral Island.” He thought the story over-idealized, and told his wife, “Or do you write a children’s story about what people really are, how they behave in real life?” And indeed, his work appeared so truthfully that his famous storybook “children” could not be read by children.
Often when it comes to children, people often say one thing: innocence. Lord of the Flies broke that notion in a very brutal way. Children are not naive at all, Golding asserted. They are willing to do everything adults dare to do, only in a more immature, inexperienced way. They are willing to steal, lie, deceive each other, want to overpower each other, and even use the most horrible methods of violence to achieve their goals.
In addition, the work of this book also uses many Christian images, and if they list them all and analyze their meanings, it may be enough to publish a brand new book. Basically, Golding introduced the concept that humans are born as sinful creatures, and without proper education and teaching about the boundary between right and wrong, we will choose the path of sin.
Lord of the Flies also gives a very expensive lesson about herd psychology. When we are alone, it is very difficult for us to fall into sin, but it is much easier when around another group of people. Pressure from friends, from society in general is a very powerful tool. It can motivate people even if they want to turn goodness into cruelty, to be willing to go hand in hand with anyone, to do anything. This is especially true for young children, when they have not yet shaped their own identities.
In short, Lord of the Flies is a chilling but fascinating work that once read, you won’t want to let go. However, because the work deals with violence and religion, you should consider carefully before reading.