At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys.
At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society.
However, they fail in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued.
You know those students who were overachievers and sometimes showed off about it? I am ashamed to admit that I was one of those students.
In 12th grade, I took AP English Literature and Composition. The main focus of course was reading novels and analyzing them. For our last novel of the semester before taking the AP exam, we had the choice to read and annotate either “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess or “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding.
With me being as extra as I was, I chose to read both novels at the same time. When it came time to annotating the book, I focused on “A Clockwork Orange.” This was an interesting decision as everyone else in my class decided to focus on “Lord of the Flies.” However, when it came to taking the test, I chose to take the one for “Lord of the Flies.”
I actually had an enjoyable time reading this book. As someone who enjoyed watching the first couple of seasons of “Lost” and the TV show “Flight 29 Down,” I really liked the concept of people trying to survive on an island. Especially when it came to kids working without an adult authority figure.
The descent into chaos that is displayed as the boys’ fragile society that they built falls down is fascinating.
Why is this Chosen?
As I mentioned before, I read this as part of my class curriculum. However, in other school systems, this is chosen as summer reading.
There are a couple of reasons why I believe this is done. Once again, this is another classic book that is short compared to others in the field. Clocking in around 220 pages, if the topics covered in the book interest you, the pages will fly by.
However, the main reason this book is covered is due to what Golding states about human nature and their ethics.
Despite the themes being relayed through the different forms of figurative language, I do not believe it should be taught for summer reading. From my experience, summer reading novels aren’t as thoroughly covered as they should be. Depending on the grade and the teacher, summer reading has the lowest form of engagement due to it being addressed at the beginning of the year when everything is crazy.
This is a novel that I believe should be taught during the school year. As I mentioned earlier, it tends to be a quicker read and there are many different in-class activities that can be done with the novel.