Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

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2. Overview: Time Flies

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.

Allegory in literature like Lord of the Flies|60second Recap®Boys marooned on a tropical island? William Golding’s Lord of the Flies must be a terrific adventure story! Not so fast. There’s adventure all right—but not the kind you might expect.

That’s because Lord of the Flies is actually an allegory.

Don’t be fooled by the synopsis on the back cover of your book. More on what you’re really getting into when you read Lord of the Flies … just a few seconds from now.

Beauty Queens meets Lord of the Flies | 60second Book ReviewIf I were a marketer, I’d try to sell you on Lord of the Flies as an adventure story. I might toss out a few phrases like swashbuckling schoolboys and deserted tropical islands.

Unfortunately, the only description that really does this book justice is allegory. In plain English, that means this whole book—the entire story—is freaking symbolic.

Symbolic of what? Take your pick.

Order vs. chaos.
Civilization vs. savagery.
Reason vs. emotion.

But you won’t go wrong if you remember that while this book may seem like an adventure story on the surface, it’s really about the loss of innocence. I’m not just talking about kids having to grow up too fast. I’m talking about that moment when the evil that human beings are capable of becomes apparent…

…and it hits you: Lord of the Flies is a very dark tale.

Lord of the Flies may, in fact, be an adventure story. But it’s an adventure story that takes us on a journey into the human psyche. What you’ll find won’t be pretty.

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