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Lord of the Flies

Overall opinion: This book was okay, very brutal scenes in which the boys kill each other (only happens twice) were gross and disgusting. No matter how horrible the actions were, you can't put it down. It kept me wanting to read more; there were so many twists in it!

Below is my essay for Lord of the Flies It discusses how Golding wrote the antithesis of the 1950's. (that was the time it was written) I hope you gain some ideas for your papers!

William Golding performs an unprecedented feat for the 1950‘s by including the imperfection of humans in his work, Lord of the Flies. In the 1950’s, authors based their books on the perfect lives of people, because in reality, society hid many human instincts from the public; therefore, life seemed perfect. Golding chose to rebel. Ideally, Golding should have conformed to society to appeal to his era, but decided instead to attempt to trace the defects of society back to human nature itself. Golding effectively goes against conformity in adventure writing, and makes his book the antithesis of the 1950’s.

A change happened in the 1950’s. Everyone loved poodle skirts, milkshakes, and jukeboxes. Elvis was just becoming popular. Teenagers started to rebel against their parents. Lord of the Flies reflects this truth. Golding saw an evolution in progress, and put it on paper. The boys of the island wanted order, at first, like good 50’s children, but then began to have savage and disorderly characteristics. The boys terrorized each other. For example, after the boys landed on the island, Jack decides to hunt pigs. He continues to hunt for days, and then becomes so entranced with hunting, that he wants to hunt humans like Ralph. Some readers wondered why Golding made the characteristics of the characters so cruel and primal. Ideally, books did not have children committing acts of violence. Golding rebels against this and makes all the boys participate in the crime of killing Simon. Many did not understand why Golding writes like this. He wants to portray true nature underneath the false 50’s society. Some readers refused to look into their world, where some people would commit crimes and hurt others. Some schools in the past and now ban Lord of the Flies because parents dislike this book and do not want their children exposed to cruelty. They knew that defects in human nature really do cause defects in society, but do not want their children to know this. People who read this book realized that it could not represent the popular yet plastic “Hardy Boy’s” stories, but still refused to accept this type of writing. Also, the Hardy Boys withstood time, but cannot have said to have predicted a drastic change of life. On the other hand, Lord of the Flies effectively guesses a new era of rebellion. Golding meant to represent the antithesis of 1950’s society with this book, and succeeded, while all the time, causing an uproar from the parents.

Many readers who read this book now are high school students, changing in their own lives. The characters of Lord of the Flies go through drastic changes, like teenagers. They gain insight to true nature like Simon, gain power like Jack, and try to put order in their lives like Ralph. Because Golding fixed on making more than one type of character, people could relate to the book, in the past and now. In the 1950’s, however, sheltered literature for children and teens presented itself. Sheltered literature hid the frightful details of life after World War II. Most parents wanted children to not realize that so many people had died, so they fed happy stories with no “growing pains” to their children. This appalled Golding, so much literature, but people only read a select amount! It appears that Golding did not want the children and teenagers to miss out on literature, so he made it possible for all to connect with Lord of the Flies. Everyone can find a way to relate to a least one of the characters. School students can relate to any one of the characters, such as Piggy, the misunderstood intelligent child, or even Jack, wanting to have more power and voice. This makes the reader one with the story, and the characters engulf the reader. He chose to have the school children become their own evil, a twist that readers of the time rarely heard of. William Golding tried to go against conformity, and now millions of readers from a large age range read this book. Not many books can accomplish this, but Golding does.

Golding efficiently places reality into Lord of the Flies. Rather than depict life as a parent would have wanted, with no human flaws and perfect angel children, Golding opts to represent true human nature. The type of writing popular at the time, such as Coral Island, portrayed a false society, and Golding knew this. This knowledge helped Golding transform a run-of-the-mill bad-happens-to-good-people story into a thought-provoking adventure where the bad comes from the actual characters. Evil flows from the inside of Jack, an older boy in Lord of the Flies. He has murderous thoughts and wants to rule the island. He acts on many of these thoughts. In the 1950’s, a little boy always behaved himself, and obeyed his parent’s rules. Even the “bad” television child of the 1950’s, Beaver Cleaver, represented a false truth. After Cleaver did something bad, he apologized and said he did not mean it. Golding’s character Jack murders a child, and then thinks nothing of it! This may be a bit extreme for some, but many, like Golding, know that this truly illustrates human nature. Evil lies in all; most humans choose to subdue it, but not everyone inherits the will power to do so. In the 1950’s, no one spoke of the primitive evil in humans. Golding ignored this taboo and wrote evil into all the boys. He made sure to have different levels of it though, something true in reality. William Golding sensibly writes about the evil present in all, pursuing the want of true depictions.

The author of Lord of the Flies, William Golding, went against the ideal way of writing. People with flawless characteristics dominated the 1950’s scene, but Golding chose to show the animal and defective side of human nature. A remarkable outcome followed. Many saw that a rebellion similar to Jack’s was inevitable. William Golding wrote this book to trigger thought, instead of to follow a trend. Golding effectively describes the reality of the 1950’s, the antithesis of what was thought.