Thursday, March 15, 2018

William Golding, LORD OF THE FLIES

Oh my. I'd forgotten how dark this was. I reread this because my son was reading it for English (8th grade), and I felt like I understood what it was like to be alive in 1954, with 15 years of war (the brutality of WWII and the Cold of the 1950s) as the only world one knew. There was nowhere outside of a place like the island, where the plane left an indelible "scar" as it landed; and physical prowess was the only thing that mattered. Piggy's smarts, Simon's thoughtfulness, and the littleuns' weakness have no place, and so they all die. Even Ralph, the first chief, nearly dies because he is more interested in getting rescued than staying on the island and preserving his site of power. And we can have no faith in the adult at the end who rescues, with the "crown, an anchor, gold foliage," his symbols of military and governmental and economic domination, worn on his "huge peaked cap." He is hardly a rescuer, given that he wholly misreads the scene in front of him. The whole book made me uneasy (in a good way, I know). But I was glad to put it down.

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