Written By: William Golding
Narrated By: William Golding
Publisher: Listening Library
Duration: 6 Hours 36 Minutes
Summary: William Golding’s classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding’s portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery. Read more.
I thought this book was interesting. I have a bunch of friends who have read and were talking about it which is why I picked it up. Good satire of society and human nature through the eyes of a group of boys.
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Summary and Synopsis
The book is set during a terrible war, and follows the story of a group of British schoolboys who were being evacuated from the UK, when their plane was shot down and they were left stranded on a deserted island.
The novel is set as an allegory for human nature, and models the different types of conflicts that arise when individuals are placed in an anarchic environment, and allowed to reign as they please.
In The Lord of the Flies audiobook chapter 1 we are introduced to two of the principal characters: Ralph and Piggy. These two boys are found on a beach, and it becomes clear that they were stranded after a crash. They find a conch shell, which they use to summon the other survivors, all of them schoolchildren.
Even early on the story, Golding begins to present sum of the main themes, most notably, the conflict between wanting to maintain some sense of order and civilization, vs. the primal urge to devolve into a state of savage existence.
This theme continues in The Lord of the Flies audiobook chapter 2, as the group of explorers Ralph sent to explore the island return with news that they are alone.
“Where’s the man with the megaphone?”
The fair boy shook his head.
“This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere.”
The realization that there are no adults forces the children to make choices about how to organize themselves, with Ralph emerging as the clear leader of the group, and hope comes through that the boys might be able to create and stick to a set of common rules.
These rules fly out the window in the succeeding chapters, and in the Lord of the Flies Audiobook Chapter 5 Ralph is seen in a changed state: his physical appearance is grimy from the time spent on the island, and he is seen as almost desperate to try to maintain order,and convince the other boys to stick to the regulations they’d previously created.
As the novel progresses, Jack begins to emerge as the “savage” leader, a symbol of the dreaded beast and almost pagan-like rituals that the boys begin to perform, the most famous of which is the beheading of the pig and placing the head onto a stake.
Simon and Piggy, two of Ralph’s most loyal followers, are murdered, and Ralph loses complete control to the savage instincts the other boys show.
The beast that they feared earlier in the novel becomes increasingly evident that the real monster is inside of each one of the boys, waiting only for the right circumstances to be drawn out.
Within the diamond haze of the beach something dark was fumbling along. Ralph saw it first, and watched until the intentness of his gaze drew all eyes that way. Then the creature stepped from mirage onto clear sand, and they saw that the darkness was not all shadow but mostly clothing. The creature was a party of boys…
One point of importance revolves around Ralph’s attempts to create a signal fire in order to lure possible nearby ships to the island. While his fire yielded no results, at the end of the novel Ralph is merely fighting for survival, and Jack’s band of hunters sets fire to the island in an attempt to kill Ralph.
As Ralph flees, the fire ravages the forest, and ultimately draws a naval ship to them. Golding ends the novel with clear parallels between the war that raged between civilization and savagery among the boys, and the war that rages in the broader world.
To get your copy, learn more about the forces that drive the boys to their fates, and what happens to them in the process, click the link at the top of the page!