Line(s) of the Day #LordoftheFlies

Lord of the Flies

Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.

Spoken by the character Simon, in the seminal masterpiece Lord of the Flies, by the Nobel Prize winning writer, Sir William Golding (1911 – 1993)


20 thoughts on “Line(s) of the Day #LordoftheFlies

    • I loved the book. I read it as a teen. Not for school, though I doubt it would have influenced anything. Superb work. Didn’t like the ending though. Are you surprised it’s never been successfully adapted?

      • Not really. It’s a hard flick to adapt, because it would require so many talented child actors willing and able to delve into some very dark content.

        I like the book considerably less than you do, by the way. I think it works as an allegory, quite well, but as a narrative, I think it makes a few too many leaps in characterization.

      • That’s true. I guess the story is so well known too, but it is still a little disappointing. Mind you there are enough stories about stuck on an island fighting for survival now anyhow.

        One of those rare times we disagree I guess. The premise was so original and the characters and situation struck me as believable. I did hate the ending mind which is probably one of the reasons why I still haven’t re-read it yet.

      • (spoiler alert) The book’s glory is about going against tradition. Instead of the boys own adventures and them joining together and becoming resourceful, it felt more realistic. Picking on the weakest member, hierarchies and etc. The ending of the main character getting rescued just at the right time felt like a betrayal of that.

      • I think that’s totally fair.

        Although I’d counter: his getting rescued isn’t necessarily meant to narratively realistic, I don’t think. It is intended to hammer home the themes. When the boys are rescued, they come back together, and aren’t proud of what they’ve done. Without the rescue, how do you complete the thematic arc?

        I suppose they could still feel guilty even if the lead hadn’t been saved . . . Maybe even more so . . .

      • That;s just it. I wouldn’t say they had to be rescued. And not in the Thank God you got here way it happened either. The guilt would still be there. I really think it’s more for the reader to consider how much guilt they would feel.

        And there are different ways of doing arcs. Golding could have referenced something that was discussed in the early part of the book. There could have been a death. He could even have one of the characters write something..

      • That’s all very possible. Could have picked a different way to finalize the ‘Oh crap what have we done’ notion. Like killing the main character and having several of the boys suddenly realize just how terrible their actions were, perhaps.

      • Honestly, I usually feel the same about weak endings (see my reviews of Prince Avalanche or The Call). It’s just that I didn’t love the novel up to the conclusion, so the resolution never bothered me as much as it does you. 🙂

  1. When Lord of the Rings came out I took my parents to the theater to see it. My dad ever the gentleman, approached the window and requested 3 tickets for Lord of the Kings. My mom chimed in to correct him with Lord of the Flies. The cashier just smiled and said close enough as he gave us our tickets. Another great quote Alex. I love this dark story.

  2. I can’t remember who said it but it was in an essay about Lord of the Flies after the children were rescued the writer posed the question – Who would rescue the crew? [ie those who came to rescue the kids]. It’s an interesting point and not one I’d considered until I read that.

    • I just assumed it was a nearby boat or a rescue party who eventually found them. I really didn’t like the ending though. Sorry I missed this comment at the time.

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