Why should you read “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding? – Jill Dash

Why should you read “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding? – Jill Dash


William Golding was losing
his faith in humanity. Serving aboard a British destroyer
in World War II, the philosophy teacher turned Royal
Navy lieutenant was constantly confronted by the atrocities of his fellow man. And when he returned to England to
find Cold War superpowers threatening one another with
nuclear annihilation, he was forced to interrogate the
very roots of human nature. These musings on the inevitability
of violence would inspire his first and most
famous novel: “Lord of the Flies.” After being rejected by 21 publishers, the novel was finally published in 1954. It takes its title from Beelzebub, a demon
associated with pride and war— two themes very much at the
heart of Golding’s book. The novel was a bleak satire of a classic
island adventure story, a popular genre where young boys
get shipwrecked in exotic locations. The protagonists in these stories
are able to master nature while evading the dangers posed
by their new environments. The genre also endorsed the
problematic colonialist narrative found in many British works at the time, in which the boys teach the island’s
native inhabitants their allegedly superior British values. Golding’s satire even goes so far
as to explicitly use the setting and character names from R.M.
Ballantyne’s “Coral Island”— one of the most beloved island
adventure novels. But while Ballantyne’s book
promised readers “pleasure… profit… and unbounded
amusement,” Golding’s had darker things in store. “Lord of the Flies” opens with the
boys already on the island, but snippets of conversation hint
at their terrifying journey— their plane had been shot down in
the midst of an unspecified nuclear war. The boys, ranging in age from 6 to 13,
are strangers to each other. All except for a choir, clad in black
uniforms and led by a boy named Jack. Just as in Ballantyne’s “Coral Island,” the boy’s new home appears
to be a paradise— with fresh water, shelter,
and abundant food sources. But even from the novel’s opening pages, a macabre darkness hangs over
this seemingly tranquil situation. The boys’ shadows are compared
to “black, bat-like creatures” while the choir itself first appears as “something dark… fumbling along”
the beach. Within hours of their arrival, the boys are already trading terrifying
rumors of a vicious “beastie” lurking in the woods. From these ominous beginnings, Golding’s narrative reveals how
quickly cooperation unravels without the presence of
an adult authority. Initially, the survivors try to
establish some sense of order. A boy named Ralph blows into a conch
shell to assemble the group, and delegate tasks. But as Jack vies for
leadership with Ralph, the group splinters and the boys
submit to their darker urges. The mob of children soon forgets
their plans for rescue, silences the few voices of reason, and blindly follows Jack to the edge
of the island, and the edge of sanity. The novel’s universal themes of
morality, civility, and society have made it a literary classic, satirizing both conventions of its
time and long held beliefs about humanity. While island adventure stories
often support colonialism, “Lord of the Flies” turns this
trope on its head. Rather than cruelly casting native
populations as stereotypical savages, Golding transforms his angelic British
schoolboys into savage caricatures. And as the boys fight their
own battle on the island, the far more destructive war that
brought them there continues off the page. Even if the boys were to be rescued
from themselves, what kind of world would
they be returning to? With so few references to anchor the
characters in a specific place or period, the novel feels truly timeless— an examination of human nature
at its most bare. And though not all readers may
agree with Golding’s grim view, “Lord of the Flies” is unsettling enough to challenge even the most
determined optimist.

100 thoughts on “Why should you read “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding? – Jill Dash”

  1. I don’t think it makes senses to include colonialism as a thing explored in the lord of the flies since there were no ppl native to the island

  2. I did enjoy the book, but i don't agree with the underlining meaning behind it though. I don't agree with the idea that savegry and violence will eventually overshadow reson and cooperation even in the situation the book proposes, however the exicution of such themes are quite good.

  3. This should have been titled 'Spoilers for the plot of Lord of the Flies plus a little background on the author'. I heard no example of what value anyone gets from reading it. And I still think it's a waste of time. I read it. It's pure speculation about human psychology from someone who wasn't educated in psychology or even did any studies on it. He was exposed to lots of little child bullies and then saw the horrors of war, so he wrote a book where kids turn into violent little shits. I've met too many people who read this book and act like it's a freaking documentary about the 'truth' of human nature and completely miss the satire. The scenario no more credible than an exciting tale of triumph over nature and coming of age in adversity. Maybe a book depicting kids as violent beasts was relevant or new for its time. But compared to today's story telling, it's pretty basic – and dreadfully dull. Golding wasn't a wise man exposing the true horror of the human soul.

  4. i was forced to read this for school, i probably would’ve liked it better if i had a chance to read it when i please lol

  5. Learned more in 4 mins than I did in our 2 month unit on it in school. Thanks Tedd Ed. I wished our teachers wouldve outlined the story like this. It's easy to lose the big picture ideas when your reading, especially in class.

  6. 3-4 years back, I heard about this book in the tv sit com two and a half men, but today i felt like reading it. Thanks Ted-Ed.

  7. i greatly disliked this book while analysing it during literature, but TED might have just made me interested enough to read it again. thank you TED

  8. 1954 was also the same year the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings were published: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers; The Return of the King was published in 1955.

  9. This was the first book that ever disappointed me. Granted, that's because I thought it was Lord of the Rings. Also, I hated the book on its own merits. None of the characters were relatable or likable.

  10. World loss Humanity in day to day Animals are killing for food & leather making industry and a Govt killing people for various Reasons The problem of digital era Humanity is loss in the life ???????

  11. "The problematic colonialist narrative" – Problematic to witless, historically illiterate "woke" children with no ability to critically think on the anti-western-civ propaganda they were fed throughout their lives by those that should have known better.

    Maybe try to avoid insinuating your vapid political opinions into your videos and they will come out a bit more polished and watchable?

    Who am I kidding though, this is all about the stalinist repetition of the big lie over and over and over etc. ad infinitum.

  12. I've heard of this book being recited as a "must-read" on many occasions. After watching this video and being convinced myself, I'm putting this book in my reading list. Thanks, TED-Ed!

  13. This video is a life saver. Today I am supposed to talk about a book (I choose LotF) and why you should read it. I'm supposed to include a brief backstory of the book and author and have quotes. This video is literally all info I need. Thank you

  14. hey, guys when you do a book review. can you please put a link from which people can buy it. because I really want to read it now, and I am not finding the book at any genuine location for a geniune price.

  15. I already read this for school lolz I enjoyed it very much but I was also kinda disgusted and terrified…in general tho great book ??????

  16. I must say this channel is exceptional! ??
    Thank you, TedEd for igniting my enthusiasm and love for literature.

    The symbolism you use in animation is purely unique and meritorious.?
    Forgive me if I ran out of adjectives!?

  17. The animation for this materiał looks like it's a book esprcially about how christianity is cruel and bad, and the book isn't about it, according to the material. It looks quite like manipuliation for me.

  18. Children are cruel, cuz they don't know what is good and what is bad, or even what consequences things will cause. Teaching of adults make them better while growing older

  19. I think this book is ruined for a lot of people because they’re forced to read it in high school and it’s harder to enjoy something you have to do rather than something you want to do

  20. I just remember some piggy dude with glasses who died after some dicks pushed him off the cliff. Then right after, they get rescued lmao.

  21. "as they descend into anarchy"… It's so annoying when "anarchy" word is used as synonymous for smth mad, immoral and violent. Especially on an educational channel! Please change that.

  22. I remember reading it. I don't remember there being natives in the island. But anyway, it was a good book. A bit shocking

  23. Because it’s a good book. I love the imagery and the logically dark spin on a, admittedly beloved, genre that never made sense to me.

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