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A special edition of this classic literary parable, with the 1962 introduction by E.M. Forster, critical notes by E.L. Epstein, and selected highlights from five decades of critical analysis.
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William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. --Jennifer HubertFrom the Inside Flap:
Few works in literature have received as much popular and critical attention as Nobel Laureate William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Since its publication in 1954, it has amassed a cult following, and has significantly contributed to our dystopian vision of the post-war era. When responding to the novel's dazzling power of intellectual insight, scholars and critics often invoke the works of Shakespeare, Freud, Rousseau, Sartre, Orwell, and Conrad.
Golding's aim to "trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature" is elegantly pursued in this gripping adventure tale about a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin, and evil. Part parable, allegory, myth, parody, political treatise, and apocalyptic vision, Lord of the Flies is perhaps the most memorable tale about "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart".
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