Adventures in Reading

Revisted Reviews: Lord of the Flies by William Goulding

I first read Lord of the Flies in high school and recall being the only person in class who actually enjoyed the book (and also the only one who disliked Frankenstein – in retrospect it seems many of my literary tastes were opposed by my peers!). I picked it up off of my shelf a few days ago (cracked binding, faded glue, all the pages falling out, and thus demanding a rubber band) and finally reread it: I still like it.

It’s the story of a group of English boys trapped on a deserted island. In an attempt to be rescued, the boys begin to cultivate their own civilization with structure and orders. This all to quickly falls apart. Lord of the Flies is a short masterpiece of children’s lives mirroring the adult sphere and, like so many other books

lodged in the annuals of high school literature, too often is read at an age when a person is most likely to lack the understanding of the full implications of the novel. A splendid read and I really ought to look into what else Goulding has written.

When I reached the conclusion of Lord of the Flies, with the brief though beautifully direct description of the battleships on the horizon, I had to wonder if I had ever actually finished reading the book. I wonder what exactly should students read in high school (as I regularly feel a book is too demanding for many high school students), but I am beginning to think that we simply expect students to read far too much. For whatever reason, many high schools seem to want to just plow through as many books as possible.