Marc Lord Biography & Facts
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by the Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. The plot concerns a group of British boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempts to govern themselves. Themes include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality.
The novel, which was Golding's debut, was generally well received. It was named in the Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 41 on the editor's list, and 25 on the reader's list. In 2003, it was listed at number 70 on the BBC's The Big Read poll, and in 2005 Time magazine named it as one of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005, and included it in its list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time. Popular reading in schools, especially in the English-speaking world, Lord of the Flies was ranked third in the nation's favourite books from school in a 2016 UK poll.
Published in 1954, Lord of the Flies was Golding's first novel. The idea came about after Golding read what he deemed to be an unrealistic depiction of stranded children in youth novels like The Coral Island: a Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1857) by R. M. Ballantyne, which includes themes of the civilising effect of Christianity and the importance of hierarchy and leadership. Golding asked his wife, Ann, if it would "be a good idea if I wrote a book about children on an island, children who behave in the way children really would behave?" As a result, the novel contains various references to The Coral Island, such as the rescuing naval officer's description of the boys' initial attempts at civilised cooperation as "a jolly good show, like the Coral Island". Golding's three central characters (Ralph, Piggy, and Jack) have also been interpreted as caricatures of Ballantyne's Coral Island protagonists.The manuscript was rejected by many publishers before finally being accepted by London-based Faber & Faber; an initial rejection by the professional reader, Miss Perkins, at Faber labelled the book an "Absurd and uninteresting fantasy about the explosion of an atomic bomb on the colonies and a group of children who land in the jungle near New Guinea. Rubbish and dull. Pointless". However, Charles Monteith decided to take on the manuscript and worked with Golding to complete several fairly major edits, including the removal of the entire first section of the novel, which had previously described an evacuation from nuclear war. As well as this, the character of Simon was heavily redacted by Monteith, including the removal of his interaction with a mysterious lone figure who is never identified but implied to be God. Monteith himself was concerned about these changes, completing "tentative emendations", and warning against "turning Simon into a prig". Ultimately, Golding made all of Monteith's recommended edits and wrote back in his final letter to his editor that "I've lost any kind of objectivity I ever had over this novel and can hardly bear to look at it." These manuscripts and typescripts are now available from the Special Collections Archives at the University of Exeter library for further study and research. The collection includes the original 1952 "Manuscript Notebook" (originally a Bishop Wordsworth's School notebook) containing copious edits and strikethroughs.
With the changes made by Monteith and despite the initial slow rate of sale (about three thousand copies of the first print sold slowly), the book soon went on to become a best-seller, with more than ten million copies sold as of 2015. It has been adapted to film twice in English, in 1963 by Peter Brook and 1990 by Harry Hook, and once in Filipino by Lupita A. Concio (1975).
The book begins with the boys' arrival on the island after their plane has been shot down during what seems to be part of a nuclear World War III. Some of the marooned characters are ordinary students, while others arrive as a musical choir under an established leader. With the exception of Sam, Eric, and the choirboys, they appear never to have encountered each other before. The book portrays their descent into savagery; left to themselves on a paradisiacal island, far from modern civilization, the well-educated boys regress to a primitive state.
In the midst of a wartime evacuation, a British aeroplane crashes on or near an isolated island in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. Two boys named Ralph and Piggy find a conch, which Ralph uses as a horn to convene the survivors to one area. Ralph immediately commands authority over the other boys using the conch, and is elected their "chief". He establishes three primary policies: to have fun, to survive, and to constantly maintain a smoke signal that could alert passing ships of their presence. Ralph and two other boys named Jack and Simon use Piggy's glasses to create the signal fire.
The semblance of order quickly deteriorates as the majority of the boys turn idle and develop paranoia towards an imaginary monster they call the "beast", which they all slowly begin to believe exists on the island. Ralph fails to convince the boys that no beast exists, while Jack gains popularity by declaring that he will personally hunt and kill the beast. At one point, Jack summons many of the boys to hunt down a wild pig, drawing away those assigned to maintain the signal fire. The extinguished smoke signal fails to attract a ship passing by the island. Ralph angrily confronts Jack about his failure to maintain the signal, but he is rebuffed by the other boys. A disillusioned Ralph considers relinquishing his position as leader, but is persuaded not to do so by Piggy.
One night, an aerial battle occurs near the island while the boys sleep, during which a fighter pilot ejects from his plane and dies in the descent. His body drifts down to the island in his parachute and get tangled in a tree. Twin boys Sam and Eric see the corpse of the fighter pilot and mistake it for the beast. When Ralph, Jack, and another boy named Roger investigate the corpse, they flee, incorrectly believing the beast is real. Jack calls an assembly and tries to turn the others against Ralph, but initially receives no support. Jack storms off alone to form his own tribe, with the other boys gradually joining him.
Simon often ventures out into the island's forest to be alone. One day while he is there, Jack and his followers erect an offering to the beast nearby: a pig's head, mounted on a sharpened stick and swarming with flies. Simon conducts an imaginary dialogue with the head, which he dubs the "Lord of the Flies". The head tells Simon that there is no beast on the island, and predicts that the other boys will turn on him. That night, Ralph and Piggy visit Jack's tribe, discovering that they have begun painting their faces and engaging in primitive ritual dances. .... Discover the Marc Lord popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Marc Lord books.