Friday, July 13, 2012

Lord of the Flies

Bibliographic Information: Golding, W.  (2005).  Lord of the flies [CD]. New York: Listening Library. ISBN: 978-0-307-28170-8

Plot Summary: Taking place during a time of war, a plane full of young British boys is dropped off on a remote island after their aircraft is attacked. Realizing that they have been abandoned without a single adult, all the boys ban together to create a small society with rules, leaders, and responsibilities. This semblance of peace frailly lasts for a short period of time.

As time passes the boys begin to form allegiances which swiftly turn to full on war and anarchy. The conflicts between the boys only continue to escalate until almost reaching the point of no return.

Critical Evaluation:
"...maybe there is a beast...maybe it's only us." - Simon, chp. 5 p.98

The Lord of the Flies is jam packed with symbols, metaphors, motifs, and a variety of other literary riches. If I had to pick a single one to discuss it would be the metaphor of "the beast" that haunts each and every boy throughout the story. 

Although the boys have created a small society in which there is some semblance of order, many of the boys often feel that there is a "beast" lurking out in the jungle; waiting to get them. The beast, in a way, becomes a metaphor of their fear of the unknown, of the scary, and of the illogical nature of mankind. As time passes, the imagined presence of the "beast" creates so much tension that the boys become convinced that it does exist.

The boys fears become even more elevated when they see the black parachute of a dead parachutist at the top of the mountain giving them "visible proof" of the "beast." They never find out that it is nothing more than a parachute because they are too scared to get close enough to check. This "tangible" proof that the "beast" is out there sets all the little boys in a panicked frenzy. All their actions, whether conscious or not, are then fueled by their fear and irrational need to act. Their need to overcome and shutdown the "beast" makes them easily influenced. This, in turn, creates a violent panic that soon turns into a mindless mob as relations between different factions become strained.

As time passes and the boys actions become more and more brutal as they work to ward off the "beast," it becomes very apparent that the only beast (s) to be found is within the boys themselves. As Simon realizes, the only beast they should fear is the beast within each and every one of them. Even though the boys attempted to establish a society, the beasts were set free by the chaos and brutality of them rapidly losing their hold on civility.

Reader’s Annotation: A group of young British boys find that sometimes the only beast to fear is the one within you.
Information About the Author: Sir William Golding was born in Cornwall, England in 1911 (, 2012). His father was a school master and his mother suffragette (, 2012). Golding was was pushed towards becoming a scientist, a subject that he did not love (, 2012). Golding soon found himself turning to literature and finding a love for Anglo-Saxon literature in particular (, 2012). Besides being a student and a writer, Golding also joined the Royal navy and participated in the D-Day invasion (, 2012). Golding wrote his first novel, Lord of the Flies, soon after leaving the service in 1954 (, 2012). Lord of the Flies was then turned into a film in 1963 (, 2012).

Along with Lord of the Flies,Golding wrote many realistic and notable works of literature. Golding went on to receive the Nobel Price for literature in 1983 (, 2012). Golding passed away in 1993 (, 2012). 

William Golding introducing Lord of the Flies

William Golding Official Site 

Lord of the Flies - Educational Game -

Genre: Contemporary

Subgenre: Coming of Age, Death and Deadly Disease, Assault

Curriculum Ties:Tie into lesson on war, survival, and coming of age.

Booktalking Ideas:

1). What characters represent civilization, savagery, and anything in between?
2). Is Jack as preoccupied with going home as Ralph is?
3). What do the conch, fire, and spear represent?

Reading Level/Interest Age: Lexile 770/YA (Follett's Titlewave, 2012)

Challenge Issues: Book contains graphic images of violence and murder.

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - ( 
Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 ( PDF: (
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or

Why did you include this audiobook in the titles you selected?: 
This book portrays a very sharp picture of what it means for a society to fall into anarchy. Many of the themes and passages in this book can be used to discuss government, leadership, and their importance in community survival.

Reference Page:

Follett's Titlewave.  (2012).   Lord of the flies [CD]. Retrieved July 13, 2012 from Follett's Titlewave iPhone App.  (2012).  William Golding. Retrieved July 13 from

cover art from:

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