William Golding's most popular novel The Lord of the Flies has become a must read for all students of English literature along with the likes of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and E.M. Forster's A passage to India. It is a crucial read for understanding the times of Imperialism, Colonialism, and most of all human nature. Human's cognition and manner of reaction under unique circumstances is also explored alongside literal, physical, psychological, darkness, savagery, significance of civilization, and individual welfare vs. common good.
The Lord of the Flies tells a tale of schoolboys, stranded on an island during the time of war. The youngest of them is of the age of six and the eldest of them is of twelve, and this is a story of how they struggle to keep order, to make days go by, to adjust and adapt, and to feed themselves. They attempt to establish a certain way of living, to make do with what they have in the wilderness. Most of all these schoolboys are trying to remain safe and alive, the fear of darkness, of loneliness, of the unknown and the lack of grownups, of any sort of guidance; all accumulates and enables them to feel the existence of a certain beast in the forest. They enjoy swimming, hunting, eating fruits, playing games in the morning and by night they fear the darkness, they question their situation and their ability to face it, to survive through it. Yet all this needs to be taken under consideration keeping in mind that these are very small, young children. Most of them are incapable of phrasing their thoughts correctly, or spend an hour without crying. The eldest children are highly conflicted, rooting for power, fighting among each other for trivial reasons yet this is their world; fighting about who gets to be the leader or who is cowardly or who knows the best for them all is their main concern, they are very young boys themselves and require an elderly person to keep them in line.