Lord of the flies begins with young boys whose plane crashed on a mysterious island. The first shocking aspect of their lives is how terribly rude they are to one if their fellow stranded boys, Piggy. On the first day on the island, Piggy meets Ralph, and tells him a secret. Piggy reveals that the boys at his old school called him “Piggy” and he hated it. Ralph, however, thought this was hysterical, so the name caught on. As the reader, we don’t even learn Piggy’s real name, which further helps us feel pity for Piggy. The boys are constantly cruel to poor Piggy, yet somehow Piggy takes it. They dismiss his ideas, push him around, make fun of him. The worst part is, he wears glasses. The only reason the boys have fire is because of Piggy’s glasses. They are able to cook their food, keep warm, and signal passing ships with the fire’s smoke. What do they do to thank him? Attack him and cause his glasses to break. His treatment is truly appalling and quite telling of the harsh and unforgiving natures of the other boys.
The landscape of the island is extremely important, however as the reader, I am struggling with imagining it. I would have loved to see a map on the inside cover, like so many books have. There are numerous important spots where the book does not explain, for example, where the fire mountain is compared to the beach, or how the lagoon connects with the ocean. In general, whenever a new location is introduced, I am completely lost and tend focus my attention to trying to understand where the people are, rather than understanding the story. Here, the story loses its rhythm and ability to transport me to the island.
Overall, however Lord of the Flies is well driven, and a true psychological thriller. It’s quite enticing, and I appreciate that is stays interesting and never falls dead, something that even the greatest of books sometimes struggle with.