Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Lord of the Flies SPOILERS ahoy! (Or, 7 reasons why I hated this book)

Endings are hard.
I don't know how I'm going to end this book. I know, I'll have someone rock up from the Navy and say, "I'm so disappointed in you."

Do you know how I'd end it?
I'd still have the naval bloke rock up, then the boys all get on the  . . . ship? Frigate? I dunno what they're called, but they'd be on it AND THEN THESE LOST BOYS WOULD TAKE OVER THE DAMN SHIP!

That would be a much better ending. The adults in their lives have let them down, so it's time to take revenge!!!!! A few chapters of chaos on board the ship, ratchet up the tension, sail on to a new land . . .

If I'd read this as a paperback, it would have left a dent in the wall. As it is, I read it on the ipad and so I wasn't going to throw it. But dear heavens I wanted to.

Here are the reasons why I still hate Lord of the Flies

1: There are no girls at all. Sorry, there are girls. Two female pigs (sows) that are killed. This made it really hard for me, as a girl, to identify or sympathise with any of the characters.

2: The beginning: The characters were all instantly horrible to each other. None of them do anything remotely 'nice' or 'kind' at the beginning, so I'm left wondering who's supposed to be my favourite?

3: The children are being punished for not having adults around. The entire premise of the story is 'children turn into little arseholes when Mum and Dad aren't there to keep them in line', but they never stood a chance anyway. I felt like they were being blamed for being horrible, but what else could they do? The oldest one was only 12 or something.

4: The children did not think like children. They think like adults (because it was written by an adult who'd forgotten what it's like to be a kid I s'pose) but they behave horribly to each other. Right from the get go.

5: The omniscient third person kept me at a distance from the characters, robbing me, the reader, of a chance to empathise with them.

6: The reader knew more than the kids. Golding drops in the parachute bloke, who is dead, so his parachute is caught on trees and his body sits there, swaying and rocking in the wind. The reader knows what it is, but the boys don't. They think he's 'The Beast' and their imaginations run away with them. As a reader, this robbed me of the chance to empathise with the boys and feel their terror. Because I knew what it was, I was left feeling as if I was supposed to look down on the boys, 'it's not The Beast, you're being silly, come on, be sensible' etc. Then, when the boys worked out what it really was, the element of surprise and wonder was also not there. Because I already knew.

7: The ending. It sucks big time. Sure, they were all about being rescued (it's all Ralph could think about, hence the whole 'keep the fire going so we can have smoke' delirium.) But when someone does turn up, it feels to much like Deus ex Machina. Plus, thanks for driving home your point that the boys were such a massive disappointment. And what am I supposed to feel? Damn right, I'm feeling disappointment. But not with the boys, I'm disappointed in this book.

Wow, I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

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