William Golding: Lord of the Flies and The Spire

I have just finished listening to an excellent recording of Lord of the Flies by the author himself, complete with introduction and prologue giving his own thoughts on the work. I never really understood this book when we read it in year 10 English at school, but it really came alive for me in this recording. The choice of the title (Beelzebub in Hebrew means something like “god of the flies”), talk about “the beast”, and the reflection on why it “all went wrong”, are just a few elements in the book that give rise to a deep reflection on human nature and, what Christians would call, original sin. The final scene, where Ralph narrowly avoids being killed in a hunt by the “little boys” who have become complete “savages”, puts all this in stark contrast when the naval officer asks “But aren’t you all British?”

My personal favourite in the Golding opus is The Spire. If you are not familiar with it, get it out of your library and treat yourself.

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