I read this back in high school, like so many of you probably have. I hated it. Hated it in the, "Why does this exist, why did I have to read it, and how soon can I forget it?" way I hated Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
But I've been wondering about Lord of the Flies lately. During my thirties, I've re-read and re-watched books and movies I disliked in my teens and early twenties and discovered that I now like a lot of them. Even love some of them. So I wondered if this had also suffered the "I'm not ready for this book" problems that had plagued my initial readings of The Old Man and the Sea and The Great Gatsby, which I now very much enjoy.
Also, I'm a big fan of Lost, and I knew that the writers had credited this book as being an inspiration for the show. I mean, my beloved Sawyer even mentions it at least once within the show itself. So... I decided it was time to give it another go.
I still hate it.
Actually, maybe I don't hate it. Maybe I just... find it heavy-handed. I read it this month for the 9th-grade literature course I'm teaching at our homeschool co-op, and during our discussion for this book, I realized what is probably the main reason I don't care for this book. It's supposed to make you all shocked and startled that oh my goodness, these boys are acting like savages -- are people inherently evil or something? And... thanks to my Biblical understanding of human nature, that's not a shocker. That's something I already knew. Romans 3:10 reminds us, "There is no one who is righteous; no, not one." Psalm 51:5 says, "Surely I am sinful from birth; sinful from the time my mother conceived me." So Golding spends lots and lots of time convincing us of something I didn't need convincing of.
Plus, it's so loaded with Important Symbols. I really don't like obvious or heavy-handed symbolism in my books. Give me instead writers like Tolkien, whose symbols function perfectly within the story whether you see them as symbolic or not.
So, yeah. Like with Of Mice and Men, I'm agreeing with my teenage self that this book is not one I enjoy, like, or want to spend any more time thinking about.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a hard PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, mild bad language, and creepy scenes.
This is my 29th book read and reviewed for my second time through with the Classics Club.