Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

lotf-front-coverFucking kids, man. There is a reason I don’t want any. I read this as part of the reading challenge my mom and I are doing for 2017. This is the classic we chose. When I think of Lord of the Flies I think of that scene from Silver Linings Playbook where Jennifer Lawrence gives a synopsis. And it’s pretty spot on.

I also think of the Stanford prison experiment, where they were looking in the psychological effects of perceived power. These boys are on an island with no adults, who were the authority figures in their life back home. But now they are their own authority. So what do they do?

I didn’t totally expect Ralph to be as diplomatic and reasonable as he was. He was still a bit of a jerk but he was also trying to get everyone off the island. But then of course someone doesn’t like not being in power so they go and make a fuss and abandon any sort of lawful, respectful behavior. They create a “my way or the highway” sort of order and treat anyone who doesn’t want to follow them like shit.

I won’t say the book shows that their are only two kinds of people in this world. The two different factions that form on the island are not the only way things could go down in a situation like that. Lord of the Flies reminds me that it’s hard to really know a person until you’ve seen them in extreme circumstances, or at least a wide range of different circumstances. When people are tested and exposed to new pressures lots of things can happen that you might not have guessed.

I think Jennifer Lawrence was right when she said, “Humanity is just nasty,” but not as right about there being no silver lining.



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