the cedar ledge

Lord of the Flies

Date: April 10 2022

Summary: A review of the book as well as thoughts on why I did not enjoy it

Keywords: ##summary ##book #survival #social #critique #archive


W. Golding, Lord of the flies: Casebook edition. Penguin, 1987.

Table of Contents

  1. How To Cite
  2. References:
  3. Discussion:

I did not enjoy this book much at all. When I had finished reading it, I was left thinking to myself, "that was it? This is the book so many put on a pedestal?" I very much expected more for a supposed critique on the banality of man. Instead, it read a very contrived scenario that just did not feel much like life. To explain my thoughts, here are some of my findings about the book after researching the author:

  1. It has been well documented that the author used his students in experiments to test human behavior.

These experiments were very contrived and did were very haphazardly done [1]

  1. This book was written as a parody of a different book called Coral Island where kids were lost on an island and made a utopia.

The author wrote this as if to say this is what really happens with kids on an island.[1]

  1. The book is highly idiosyncratic to British life and schooling.

Just these three points made me think the book was awful. As the book was written to talk about how children, left to their own devices, would create society and destroy it,it is oddly moralistic. You are put in a position to watch the unfurling of this horrific story take place from an objective standpoint. But based on point one, you are not all that objective.

Point two I feel is not talked about a lot but should be more. If this book is just parody then why is it treated as novel and even realistic at all? Coral Island was contrived just as Lord of the Flies is now,just in the opposite direction. Whether man falls to utopia or dystopia is not a binary choice but a sliding scale of morality That is very dependent on many factors.

Also it should not be forgotten that this book is a critique on British schooling as well. That context alone should remind that this book does not parody much of life at all but a very small cross section of it. How much can be taken from British life to other modes of living is most likely minimal.

How To Cite

Zelko, Jacob. Lord of the Flies. April 10 2022.


[1] J. Carey, William golding: The man who wrote lord of the flies. Faber & Faber, 2012.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Jacob Zelko. Last modified: November 24, 2023. Website built with Franklin.jl and the Julia programming language.