Best of: books for ages 14-18 #7: ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding
Long established as one of the finest books in the English language, ‘The Lord of the Flies’ has been taught in classrooms since it became popular. It was not initially a hit, however, selling fewer than 3000 copies on its first print run, before going out of print. Since its popularity, however, it has been placed on many ‘best book’ lists, including TIME magazine’s best 100 books in the English language from 1929-2005.
The premise of the novel is that a group of boys find themselves stranded on an island without any civilisation or social order. As a result, they have to organise themselves into a society, and chaos ensues. Dark and disturbing, ‘Lord of the Flies’ became popular once more when the release of the ‘Hunger Games’ novels made people excited about dystopias.
The carefully-crafted relationships between the children in the novel, along with the suggestion that evil is inherent in human nature, and it is society that prevents it from overcoming, led to the book being banned by many schools. Everyone should take advantage of their freedom to read such fascinating and relevant material.
By the same author: A range of dystopic novels.