When I came home from school today, contrary to what I had told my friends, I did not go straight to bed and sleep for a thousand years for I had fifty pages left of Lord of the Flies to read. At school today, we were discussing the different greek philosophic currents on how society should be organized in order to for the collective to live happy and move forward. While discussing this, I realized how close they both were and how many similarities I saw between Goldging's views on human nature and Plato's excuses against democracy and equality in society.
Anyhow, marvelling at the big coincidence that I just happened to feel the need to read this book right now while it had been sitting on top of my pile for a very long time, and then just finding the opportunity to be able to discuss it in class as a modern-ish example of Plato's views on human nature, I finished Lord of the Flies on a rush today and felt like sharing what I got from it with all you lovely, pretty much non-existent, Rookie Club Madrid readers.
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel written by William Goldging. Its plot revolves around a group of young boys whose plane, in the middle of a wartime evacuation, crashes onto an isolated island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The first boys we meet are Ralph and "Piggy", the former being described as fair haired and with a natural leadership instinct and the latter being described as a sensible, overweight boy with glasses. While exploring the beach they meet in, they come across a conch, which Piggy thinks of using as a way to call other survivors on the island. As more and more stranded boys come forward and a smaller group of them takes the leadership of the group onto their hands to try to organize the survivors until they wait to be rescued, we can truly see how each of the character's inner natures comes forward.
However unknown this book might be in non-english speaking countries, it is a forced high school read in both the United Kingdom, its country of origin, and the United States, which, in my opinion, makes a whole lot of sense. As a sixteen year old, older sister to a thirteen year old, I can absolutely relate but cannot even imagine the situation in which these boys are in. That's one of the factors that I think made Lord of the Flies as influencial and well-known as it is today. We have tons of science-fiction stories about post apocaliptic societies in which we see to characters falling in love or just kind of trying to fight the regime together (1984, Farenheit 451, etc) but I had never come across something like this, a tale of lost innocence, of beginnings, where kids are the main characters, which kind of just turns out to be set in a not-so-distant future.
Relating to this month's Rookie theme (DUDE, THERE ARE SO MANY CONNECTIONS, IS THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING?) I do see the kid's loss of innocence as one of the books major themes. This loss of innocence, caused by their sudden independence and loneliness, the absence of female figures who could have filled their need for motherly love and also the fear of the unknown (represented by the island yeah yeah I know kind of like in Lost), is what leads their inner and more instinctive and animal natures to come foward. This, as you could have guessed, means a no no from the civilized society they had planned in the beginning and basically means the start of the long road to decadence for which there are lots and lots of symbols in during the story. As I said earlier in the post, I found this book even more haunting that it might appear at first glance to most people, simply because I am living or at least I think I am supposed to be living that lost of innocence. Don't get me wrong, I am not comparing myself to a 12 year old boy who has to hunt and kill animals to survive and then just ends up enjoying it SO MUCH he basically becomes a blood-ridden beast (maybe it's only them). However, and even though I have never felt particularly innocent myself, we are supposed to feel that loss sometime soon, if we have not experienced it already. What I want to say is that, although the boys might loose their parents in a very abrupt and awful manner, it is something we must all go through (except if you wanna be that 40 year old girl/guy that still lives with their parents and has her/his mom make her/him lunch, which hey it's a completely valid choice we're not judging here) and while the rescue they are so eagerly awaiting doesn't come, we also see them loose that childish belief of how special they are and how they'll always be protected by their parents that every kid has had to go through if their parents ever cared for them. It's a times like these when you slowly realize that the world does not stop when you stop. It doesn't wait for you, or speeds up for you. It goes on, as you are supposed to go on, but the world doesn't turn around you as an individual. I'd go as far as saying the world does not turn around any individual, whether it's you or Obama or Margaret Atwood.
(There's a film dated from 1963 which I'm hopefully going to watch this weekend, the poster's the image up there, it's really pretty.)
Yayyyy We're done with this first book talk! Hope you liked it and uhmmmm let's hope we'll be able to start reading Pride and Prejudice, which is going to be the first book we read together as a book club, soon. Exciting stuff is coming (much more exciting than this entry tbh), stick with us!
(a sixth part of the Rookie Club Madrid)