William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)

 

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This symbolic book describes through the lives of the children on a desolated island how humanity can turn into savagery. I’m not actually such a big fan of symbolic books, but I seem to read more and more of these recently. I was not really hooked to the book and it went really slowly, but in a way I also enjoyed it.

When reading some analysis of the book, it talks about innocence and turning into savages, and how the different characters portray these different traits. I guess what I really noticed in the beginning of the book was that all characters in the book were male. I wonder how different it could have been, if amongst the children on the island, there would have also been some girls. The role division would have probably been more biased towards gender-defined roles by the civilisation the boys were coming from, and the development could have been very different.

The book here dealt with a lot of uncertainty in terms of power relations. Who would lead the group and what would be the main objective of their daily tasks? Was it important to keep the signal fire to get noticed by passing ships and get rescued, or enjoy life, hunt and try to make the best of the stay?

I also thought it was strange how there was a clear division between the young kids and the older ones. The fact that nobody really cared about the young ones running around can also reflect the fact that the “mother instinct” was missing, and everybody was more selfish than caring of the others.

In the end, when Ralph had to run from the group of savages and ended up being saved by grown-ups who were also men, I felt like there was something also missing by the rescuers. When Ralph started crying, there was this awkwardness of not understanding the situation and not being able to respond appropiately.

 

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