Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Day With William Golding

I bought this book on Blink for only P175. If you have anything on your list that you have been hunting for years, this website may have it in them! It is a very convenient online store plus they have an amazing service. I was lucky then to catch their free-shipping promo (still unlucky to have spent most of my cash at that time, so I was able to purchase only this one). I have already bought many books from this site—mostly expensive ones if you buy them brand new. They have a growing list of very good books now, so you might want to check them out!

I should've finished reading Lord of the Flies a very long time ago, so I threatened myself. And it was effective! I might try using this strategy next semester, who knows?

Lord of the Flies was the first book written by the English author William Golding. Not bad for a first novel, I must say. It was published on 1954 and it has somehow grown on the hearts of people who love classics. It's quite short, containing only 200 pages, but the language he is using, although somewhat has a metrical feel in it, is really hard to fathom even with a dictionary. Some words are not even searchable, so I kind of had a hard time dissecting it.

I find it somewhat risky (and due to its nature, I really love it) for an author to use children or young adults as main characters of their novels, especially when they are the narrators. It is comparable to JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye not just because of the colloquial language he used and the Holden Caulfield–like narrations, but also the gory feel subtly masked by innocence.

It is a story of British boys who got stuck in an island after their plane crashed. They didn't have any grownups with them. In order to make an organized life in the island—since they find it savage if they do not abide any rule—they elected a chief who holds a conch, the symbol of power and right to speak. He blows it hard whenever he wanted to call an assembly and passes it on to others which gives only the person who holds it the privilege to have something to say. Finding the rigidity and inconsistency of these rules since they were made by just mere children, some decided to establish their own separate tribe. This was when the loss of innocence and the darkness of human heart flourished.

Lord of the Flies is a very simple story, yet it is able to squeeze in many issues of humans, children and adults alike. It illustrates the human's desire to establish a systematized society, but ironically, this quest only holds everything under tension when the desire for an organization can longer put together the evil intentions of the members themselves. It also emphasizes that people prioritize their impulses (i.e., disgust for someone higher than them, the need to subordinate others) over morality, survival, and even their own lives.

It is a very moving and influential novel. It is a book that does not just tell a story—it illustrates a quite complicated issue through a mundane event.

Spoiler alert: Piggy died. :'-(


  1. I watched the movie adaptation before. It was quite gory. However, a certain professor did say that the book is waaay too gory and detailed compared to the movie.
    Due to the absence of an adult (i.e., authority) the children eventually forgot the societal norms that tied them to behave in a gentlemanly manner. They no longer acknowledge even the taboos that are supposed to be avoided. It was such a saddening film since it was unimaginable that they would resort to those drastic means in order to survive. But I guess any sane human being who is put in that situation would do the same.
    Btw, I find you link helpful. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for stumbling across this review. And I didn't know it actually has a film adaptation! Definitely, I'm gonna watch it. For the book, yes it was gory, but I don't have anything to compare it with. Everything just happens so fast. One moment they're just having an assembly and the next thing you know, they're already killing each other. Golding in fact received mostly unfavorable reviews for his work when he first released it. Somehow, his concept of human nature had stirred the former acquiescence of people then. In some ways, I agree with him, though.