Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

What would happen in a world where there were no adults? It is this question that William Golding sought to answer in Lord of the Flies. The story follows the riveting tale of schoolboys stranded on an uninhabited island following an airplane crash. Throughout the chapters, the story spins through intial surprise where the boys cannot process the reality, to their attempts to be rescued and eventually a realisation that they must fend for themselves. In the book we learn that in any society, order must exist as we see the protagonist, Ralph take charge and attempt to form some sort of government. Watching the boys not only grow but work in teams and impressively cool off after heated arguments quite quickly was something to marvel at for that young age. In the second half of the book, the tale focuses on greed and dissension, with Jake, Ralph’s right hand man, bloodthirsty quest for power. It was quite shocking to see that when reduced to conditions where the fittest survive, death comes lightly even to children. Throughout the novel, Ralph marshalls his fellow castaways to maintaining a fire to serve as a smoke signal for oncoming ships, yet efforts to this end slowly wane as time passes. We eventually realise that the Lord of the Flies is actually a very gory mental image and rather unexpected- but indeed, madness sets in on some of the main characters in the novel following a successful hunt for meat and a secession from the first social order. Whether or not they get rescued I shall leave to the reader to find out, but one thing I commend the author on is the complexity of the language juxtaposed with the age of the characters he depicts - the language seemed to get more complex as the boys lost their innocence on the island. It is definitely a classic that provides a light read.

Zawadi Mwambeyu 

Rating: 3 Worth Reading



Lord of the Flies was a book that had me on the edge of my seat most of the time. I especially liked it because it was a very fictional story with a very strong message behind it. The book is about a group of children who get abandoned on an island alone with no adults around and only the land to take care of them. At first, they appointed a leader, Ralph, and next they created a stable system for survival by appointing roles to each group of people. There were the hunters (for food), and the people that kept the fire going so a smoke signal could be sent for a ship to come rescue them. As time moves forward, people stop seeing the importance of keeping the fire going and the people meant to watch the fire went out and hunted for pigs. Because of this, a ship had passed by but there was no fire for them to know to come to their rescue. An assembly is held and the people realise they have different priorities on the island and this causes a divide between them. Most of the boys feel like they just want to have fun and get the thrill of hunting and being able to feast on meat, while the leader and a few others see the need to survive and find a way for people to come rescue them. At the same time, the younger children or “littluns” are getting nightmares and believe they have seen a sort of beast. As the other boys go through the forest they also see their own version of the beast and so a lot of the boys are afraid of this beast. Eventually, the hunters take a stand and form their own tribe and move to another part of the island. They focus on hunting and feasting and just having fun in general. To make sure they are not disturbed, everytime they kill a pig, they leave the head on a stick in the hopes that the beast will not get to them. One of the boys, Simon, may have eaten a few rotten fruits and he’s hallucinating and very weak. He finds the pig’s head and this is what is referred as the “Lord of the flies” because of the flies circulating the head of the pig. While hallucinating, the lord of the flies tells Simon that there is no beast and the beast that everyone is fearing is in each and every one of them. Unfortunately, when he goes to tell everyone of this revelation, he is mistaken for the beast and is beaten by the hunters and the sea takes away his dead body. After this, the hunters become wild and plan to kill Ralph and set the forest on fire in pursuit of him. The book ends with Ralph running to the beach and finding a ship there that so the smoke and came to rescue them. A few leadership skills I learned from this book is that when leading, especially in tough situations, you need to be quite assertive but still make sure everyone is comfortable with their duties. In the book, Ralph is not assertive enough and makes people feel like they also have freedom to decide what to do and I feel like this is where it went wrong.

Irene Githatu

Rating: 5 Recommend



One of the more violent books that I have read, this is an incredibly aggressive story of a clash of leadership. The story speaks of a group of boys who find themselves deserted on an island without any adults. The boys having two main types of leadership( One being democracy as shown by Ralph and the other being dictatorship as shown by Jack) begin to start a system on how to live until they get rescued. Though both boys show potential for leadership, the group of boys favour Ralph initiating a spark of anger in Jack. The boys begin to uptake different roles and work towards their survival with a ground rule of always having a fire burning to catch the attention of any rescue ships. However, Jacks passion for overtakes his need to follow this rule and the boys miss the chance to get rescued as Jack lets the fire to go out while he went hunting. This serves as the main pivotal point of the book. From here we clearly see the divide against Jack and Ralph which catalyses the groups descent into savagery. Jack having an obvious thirst for leadership, creates a tribe and they they begin to perform ceremonial practices to a monster created by imagination. The talk of this monsters acts as another guideline to chaos keeping the boys on edge. In the end the group breaks into havoc as they scramble for power as symbolized by one of the character's glasses. The boys harm and murder each other all on the pretence that one or the other is right. The clash of human violence and mob rule against moral character and reason. The book amplifies one of the less spoken pressures of being a leader, that there are those who will dislike your leadership not matter how civil. Having a sensible way to deal with such members of a team may be the difference between success and bedlam. It is important for the team to have a sense of unity with a very clear goal to keep them motivated, it is equally important to make sure each member of the team feels heard. In what I feel is quite a barbaric route, the book warns us of what my lie ahead if certain fuses and clashes in a team go unnoticed or unsolved. As leader be observant and very perceptive of your team’s feelings and ideas. Appeal to them when you feel necessary, and if needed take a strict approach. But be weary to have a way to establish order as the book implies, left to our own devices we would all kill each other.

Nyawira Mburia

Rating: 2 So-so