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Banned Book Review: Lord of the Flies

March 1, 2006

70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Reason: for use of the word “niggers.”

Three young boys die in the course of this novel.  One by carelessness, and two by direct actions of several other young boys.  But the fact that these young boys cuss is what got it banned.

If you weren’t forced to read Lord of the Flies in high school, be grateful.  You will be able to appreciate this book for all of its power and mystery without having to shout down the symbolism that high school teachers grind into the heads of their students.  I think I liked this book better back when I wasn’t trying to figure out which of the boys was the Christ figure and whether or not the slaying of the pig had homoerotic overtones.

A planeload of English schoolboys is stranded on a deserted island without adults of any kind to supervise them.  In the beginning, the boys work together to find food, shelter, and ways to be rescued.  Gradually, their memories of civilization fade away and their hopes for being rescued are forgotten in their desire to play and their lust to hunt.  The voice of reason becomes something to hunt, and destroy.  Recommended for grades 10 and up, but from the Amazon reviews, it looks as though they are giving this book to kids as young as 6th grade now.

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