Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

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Final Analysis: A Savage Within?

Lord of the Flies

William Golding, 1954
Famous for: The Beast, a talking pig’s head on a stake, a horrific descent into chaos and savagery.

Learn about subtext in Lord of the Flies | 60second RecapIf you’re looking for a happy book, we don’t recommend William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. So is there any reason to read Lord of the Flies—other than the fact that you’ve been assigned the book for school?

Here’s our attempt to put a positive spin on William Golding’s tale of doom.


Simon and Piggy are dead. Is there any reason not leave this book feeling completely depressed?

Humanity's savage side, a different take. Rose Under Fire:  60second Book ReviewLet’s be honest. Lord of the Flies is a pretty pessimistic take on human nature. Its message could be seen as arguing that without an organized society to impose punishment for bad behavior, we’d all become barbaric savages.

But.

There is one small reason to feel hopeful about the message of this book.

Golding appears to suggest that morality as we know it is the outcome of social conditioning. He seems to have believed that the ability to discern right from wrong isn’t innate. And that it’s easily overcome by savagery and self-interest.

I’m getting to the hopeful part.

Instead of looking at Lord of the Flies as some prophecy of civilization’s demise, why not look at it as a challenge?

Call it the challenge to be better, to choose love and unselfishness over hatred and selfishness. Prove Golding wrong by letting good win out.

Don’t buy it? OK, here’s a take-away you can’t argue with: After reading Lord of the Flies, I bet you’ll never look at pork products in the same way again.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

 

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