Lord of the Flies

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The Lord of the Flies is an important novel by William Golding. As one somewhat shallow precis put it: "A plane full of British schoolboys crashes on a Deserted Island, and the darkness of humanity spills forth as they turn against each other." [1]

Set against both the atrocities of the Second World War and the prospect of nuclear war, it is partly an allegory for the state of humanity.

The title refers to Beelzebub, mentioned several times in the Bible. In one notable scene, a boy named Simon - who can be seen as a loose allegory of Christ - takes himself off into the jungle where he confronts and understands the Lord of the Flies before returning and being killed by the other boys.

Although it can be read as a largely conservative novel, with its exploration of faith and doubt and its depiction of the importance of self-suffiency and responsibility, its bleak ending suggests there can be no hope of redemption only a perpetuation of sin and violence.