Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lord of the Flies


original UK cover

Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding. It discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British school-boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. Its stances on the already controversial subjects of human nature and individual welfare versus the common good earned it position 70 on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently challenged Books of 1990–2000. The novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.

Published in 1954, Lord of the Flies was Golding's first novel, and although it was not a great success at the time — selling fewer than three thousand copies in the United States during 1955 before going out of print — it soon went on to become a bestseller, and by the early 1960s was required reading in many schools and colleges. It was adapted to film in 1963 by Peter Brook, and again in 1990 by Harry Hook (see "Film adaptations").

The title is said to be a reference to the Hebrew name Beelzebub (בעל זבוב, Ba'al-zvuv, "god of the fly", "host of the fly" or literally "Lord of Flies"), a name sometimes used as a synonym for Satan. (Wikipedia)

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I'm planning to teach Golding's novel this semester, Fall 2008. It's proving to be an exceedingly interesting and complex novel.

theteach

9 comments:

chrome3d said...

I remember reading it about 20 years ago. It was very good and stayed in my memory for a long time as it felt real in an unreal way.

Jim said...

Hey Mary, it is nice that you will be teaching a book. I always learn more than I can possibly impart to the students for most anything I teach.
I read Lord of the Flies when I was in-between lives because I had found a thrown away paperback copy with the cover torn off.
To me it shows that man will very quickly make the mess he has now even if the slate is wiped clean. This to me is a theme similar to Animal Farm in that man will revert to his prejudices and injustices to one another even if the slate could be wiped clean in those areas.
..
BTW, I have an old cover and the little book, probably not THE original cover, of Little Black Sambo.
..

Heather said...

This is the one book that I remember studying in High school. I really enjoyed the class discussions. We then watched the movie that was mad using American boys. Discussing What parts worked and did not work as far as the cultural differences between the schooling and upbringing of British and American boys. I hope your class enjoys the study and holds on to the experience as long as I have.

Dalton said...

thanks for stopping by...
i happen to be an english teacher by calling...unfortunately i decided to chase money instead... Lord of the flies was nothing like Lord of the rings... a few years ago i thought they had something in common ofcoarse.

Gretchen said...

I haven't read this in ages, but will have to find my copy now and re-read it. There are so many classics out there!

rebecca said...

i would have loved to have sit in on your course. one of my all-time favorites. it has everything: moral choices, anarchy, primal savage instincts, power struggles, violence. man in his lust for power, in the guise of very young boys. very powerful book.

Soulfully Blonde said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! I grew up in Florida, so I pretty much know what I'm in for. :) Its really sort of just going home for me, in many ways. I never felt welcome or at home in NY.

That is the chicken said...

One of my favourites! I've reread this several times. A fascinating discussion of man the beast and how far we have truly evolved...or not!

Sharkbytes said...

Lord of the Flies remains one of the creepiest books ever written, in my opinion!