The title “Lord of the Flies” made me suspect I was going to read a science fiction novel but it wasn’t.
The story was astonishing. The writer, William Golding, took me into a lawless world in which children had to live without rules and any kind of civilisation. It’s a world that cannot exist and where the devil will play the leading role, according to the author. Not utopia but dystopia.
Golding (1911-1993) went through two world wars. Those wars had influenced his vision on human being. During the wars he saw that every human has evil qualities and without norms and values we would act like other personalities. This kind of feelings return in almost all of his books, especially in his most famous book “Lord of the flies”.
In “Lord of the flies” Golding describes how a plane carrying a group of British boys has crashed on an island in the Pacific Ocean. How do these boys, from 6 to 12 years old, survive and develop without norms and values and without any society rules?
Golding is negative about this kind of human development. His way of writing is sober and grim. Above all the story is rousing, it grabs you. You really want to know how the group will survive.
The main character is my favourite; his name is Ralph and is 12 years old.
He develops into being the leader of the group. Ralph is optimistic and despite all the trouble he keeps to his own. He works hard and tries to do the best for the group: He takes care of the fire on the mountain, even at times that the other boys deal irresponsible with it. The fire is vital for them because when the fire is out they will never been found or rescued.
All the characters in the book have a symbolic function and a different personality. The children in the book are just like me. They were raised with norms and values, but if you put them all together on an island without rules, evil will rise in every one of them.
Golding was far ahead of his time. Take a look at this moment at the television program ‘Utopia’. It outlines almost a similar situation: put a group of people together without rules, norms and values, put a fence around it and see what happens. Some become even more selfish than others. After some time they even might fight with each other.
What to do in a situation described by Golding in Lord of the Flies? I think cooperation, communication and having respect for each other is a good starting point. What do you think?