Over the last two weeks in Book Club we have been discussing Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. We went deep with this heavy, sometimes gruesome story, and managed to have a lot of fun!
On our first week with this book, we began by imagining that we were stranded on an island with a group of our friends and we had to create a society that would allow us to live peacefully together. We separated into groups and had a blast picking symbols to represent our societies, a list of original words and definitions to communicate with one another, and a slogan that represented our core values. After this we discussed the many symbols in the book and what we thought they were meant to represent.
On our second week we grappled with the core theme of the book–left to our own devices, are humans basically good, or basically evil? Without the various rules and norms that make up society, would we rise to the occasion and create a civilization, or would we descend into savagery? As we discussed, it appears that William Golding does not have a very positive view of humanity!
We concluded by splitting into three groups and holding a mock trial for the central characters Jack and Ralph. One group represented Ralph’s point of view, one group represented Jack’s point of view, and one group asked questions and tried to give a fair judgement about who the better leader was. A very heated debate ensued!
Note: There is some interesting information about the book and its author, including interviews with William Golding and readings by actors of parts of Lord of the Flies, at the William Golding website. There is also an interesting article about the true story of what happened when a group of boys were shipwrecked on an island in 1965, in the Guardian newspaper.
The Stone Soup Book Club is open to all Stone Soup contributors and subscribers, age 9-13, throughout the summer. We meet every Wednesday at 1pm PST (4pm EST) for one hour via Zoom to discuss our chosen book.