Teen Volunteer Review: Lord of the Flies

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Today Elizabeth Choi, a student at Boston Latin School, shares her opinions of the classic story of survival, Lord of the Flies.

As Lord of the Flies is a classic, I am hesitant to say that I found it to be nothing special. It has an interesting concept -- revealing humans’ darker nature through stranded schoolboys -- but it wasn’t that impactful for me. Perhaps if I had read this when I was a little younger the novel would have haunted me. However, I am glad that I read Lord of the Flies due to its significance in literature.

The book is about a group of adolescents who are left on an island after a plane crash. They rejoice at their freedom, but they also elect a leader and are determined to observe civilized rules until they can be rescued. Almost immediately though, there are strange whisperings of a beast on the island, and the innate character of humankind slowly reveals itself.

Some scenes are disturbing (who wants to read about a grinning sow’s head?), but these images didn’t stay long in my head following the book’s conclusion. I expected the book to be more gruesome and to have a more disturbing ending. While it didn't have a completely happy ending, things work out more positively in the end than I imagined they would. Furthermore, many of the characters’ names, with the exception of Piggy, blended together. Focusing on Ralph, Piggy, Jack, and Simon, I took little note of Roger until he began to play a larger role, but by then it was a little late to become invested in his character.

Lord of the Flies is relevant to all ages, but it is a simple story and easy to read, so I’d recommend it primarily to a younger audience. If I had read it in middle school it might have been a more enjoyable book.