May 22, 2014

Consider This Classic: Rachel Recommends

Consider This Classic is a monthly feature where bloggers highlight and recommend their favorite classic. They'll tell you when they first read it, why they love it and where to go from there. If you'd like to participate in Consider This Classic, click here to sign up.

A few months ago, I was looking for more people to participate in Consider This Classic and the lovely Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf volunteered! I had so much perusing her blog - how awesome is her blog name?! According to her blog, she loves "animals, reading, and Disney" and her Twitter bio says she's a "future author and zookeeper extraordinaire" (basically one of my favorite bio descriptions to date). I'm so thrilled she's sharing her recommendation today! When I read it in high school, I remember half the class loving it and the other half loathing it. Those kind of classics make for the best discussions!


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Publication Date: 1954
Originally Published In: United Kingdom
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger' The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. 

Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic. 



Lord of the Flies is one of those books I was forced to read for high school -- my sophomore year, to be exact. At the time, it's not something I would've ever picked up on my own. I mean, a book about a bunch of young boys being stranded on an island? And what was with that title? I mean, how good could it really be? Well, if I remember correctly (I read this book five or so years ago), it could be pretty darn good. In fact, it's one of those required school readings that I'm actually happy to have read.


This is not Gilligan's Island. (Not that I'd know, since I haven't really seen the show.) This is the Island Where Bad Things Happen. There's no government or parental guidance telling the kids what to do here; it's all them, unsupervised -- well, except for the stick with a pig's head on it. Lord of the Flies has it all: kids picking sides -- and fights -- death, the need to survive, messed up-ness, and a character named Piggy, who blames things "on account of [his] ass-mar." And part of what makes Lord of the Flies such a classic (I mean, you've heard about this book, right?) is that it still fits easily into today's literature. It's been popular, discussed, and read for sixty years, and it will continue that way for sixty more. But who is the Lord of the Flies? Well, you'll just have to read this fine book and find out for yourself.


The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Before kids fought each other to live in arenas in The Hunger Games, they were fighting each other (not televised and without Gamemaker interference!) on an island in Lord of the Flies.

The Gone Series by Michael Grant: These kids aren't stuck on an island, but they're all stuck in this dome-like thing called the FAYZ (Fallout Youth Alley Zone). And instead of a pig's head on a stick, they have the Gaiaphage (also known as the Darkness). Plus, a bunch of these kids have mutant powers. Without adults, what could be possibly go wrong? EVERYTHING.

6 comments:

  1. Oh I adore Lord of the Flies! & to this day I still get choked up thinking about what happens to a certain character :(

    So this should come as no surprise, but the book was way better than the movie. The movie was great, but that ending!

    Hats off to Rachel! Lovely pick & I'm going to add Battle Royale (movie/manga/novel). Same concept, but in Japan.

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  2. I've never read Lord of the Flies! But I'm admittedly curious. I really like the idea of this novel tackling an aspect of human nature that can be scary, heartbreaking and well, real. Definitely got to consider checking this out!

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  3. I remember loving this one in high school. I should reread it.

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  4. Uh! I love love love this one! I read it in high school as well, and went nuts for it. It is definitely one of my fav classic books as well. This feature is very fun! Great idea!

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  5. Thank you so much for having me, Hannah! This post was so fun! Loved thinking about what classic to talk about--oh, the possibilities!

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