Lord of the Flies: Reasons

Self is almost halfway through this novel, its pacing is so fleet. She thinks there’s a good chance she can smash her 2018 Goodreads reading challenge to bits and then some.

So, about the novel: the descriptions of the island are so on point! Except, there appear to be no forms of animal life other than boys and pigs. Everything else is flora and fauna: gorgeous tropical flowers, vines, rotting trees.

She’s just arrived at the part where Jack and his choirboys kill a pig. This is where the symbolism starts getting a little heavyhanded: the choirboys chant, Kill the pig, which shows how far they have sunk since Jack introduced himself by saying, “I sing in high C.”

Also, the fat boy is called “Piggy.”

Uh-oh. (Self: why are you saying uh-oh like that, as if you’ve never read the book?)

Also, he just won’t shut up. Worse, he keeps nattering on to Ralph, and Ralph finds him dull. Great word choice, William Golding! Now self knows why people never listen to her!

Anyhoo, splendid Ralph (who goes running naked through the forest, a natural athlete, doesn’t even flinch when vines and what-not “savage” him) is up against Mad Jack, who’s already sunk to the level of painting his face, just like that crazy man in Apocalypse Now.

Self could tell dear blog readers what happens next, if she weren’t so sure that at least 95% of dear blog readers already know, since they probably had to read this book for school.

Instead, she will just say that she identifies with Ralph, especially in this moment, when he has a very adult epiphany:

  • He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet.

A page later, he has this one further thought:

  • With a convulsion of the mind, Ralph discovered dirt and decay, understood how much he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes, and at last, when the sun was gone, rolling noisily to rest among dry leaves.

His way of resisting the meltdown is to call assembly, which self thinks is really quite brave of him, but she can’t help thinking that Ralph is like Sisyphus, condemned to an eternity of trying to roll a stone uphill, especially when he can’t even get the boys organized to build themselves proper shelters.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Littleuns in Lord of the Flies

Question: Why is this book called Lord of the Flies when there is not one single fly on the  island? Could there have been flies, only the boys didn’t think it was worth bringing up? That said, it’s a a good title, for sure.

Self really enjoyed Golding’s description of the ‘littleuns.’

  • The undoubted littleuns, those aged about six, led a quite distinct and at the same time intense, life of their own. They ate most of the day, picking fruit where they could reach it and not particular about ripeness and quality. They were used now to stomachaches and a sort of chronic diarrhoea. They suffered untold terrors in the dark and huddled together for comfort. Apart from food and sleep, they found time for play, aimless and trivial, in the white sand by the bright water. They cried for their mothers much less often than what might have been expected; they were very brown and filthily dirty. They obeyed the summons of the conch, partly because Ralph blew it, and partly because they enjoyed the entertainment of the assemblies.

She forgot that there were six-year-olds on the island!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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