How could chapter 1 of Lord of The Flies sound more interesting?  

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coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Chapter One of Lord of The Flies is already pretty intriguing, but it could perhaps be made more appealing to a more contemporary younger audience by updating the context and the setting in which the children find themselves. William Golding wrote of woolly socks, blazers,itchy school caps and the manners and customs of English boarding school life. This was partly because he was writing about what he knew - although not rich enough to attend these types of schools independently, Golding got a pretty good look at the ethos of life in them from the sidelines - his father was a master at one. So,for his time,he was pretty 'spot-on.' However, the prim etiquette of boarding school life is a long way from kids lives today - perhaps the first chapter would talk to modern audiences better if the kids were upbeat sassy modern proactive kids with sci-fi options - then the ending would be more like Lost! His main aim however was to present the kids in a microcosm he could control, so don't forget that adult-less elemet!

jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I don't like re-writing literature. Nor do I like it when Hollywood takes the liberty of adding, subtracting, or rearranging events when interpreting literary works to film.

Of course, whether I like it or not, it's done all the time. It's as if the original author didn't think it all out first and didn't have very specific reasons for presenting his story exactly the way he did. I mean, who are we to presume?

OK, now that I've given you my sincere disclaimer, I will tell you how the of  "Lord of the Flies" might have been written differently to make it more "interesting," or more involving, or a bit easier to grasp. Perhaps the novel could have started with the plane crash.

Now, a crash that landed all of the boys intact on the island could not have been a very violent one, but just a glimpse of the struggling pilot and the hurtling plane, partly in flames, and the frightened boys spilling out of it and scrambling for safety, while the cabin etched the scar, might have all been instructive and exciting. It is all described on page eight, and what I'm suggesting is that perhaps it could have been an alternate starting point:

“That pilot.”

The fair boy allowed his feet to come down and sat on the steamy earth.

“He must have flown off after he dropped us. He couldn’t land here. Not in a place with wheels.”

“We was attacked!”

“He’ll be back all right.”

The fat boy shook his head.

“When we was coming down I looked through one of them windows. I saw the other part of the plane. There were flames coming out of it.”

He looked up and down the scar.

“And this is what the cabin done.”

The fair boy reached out and touched the jagged end of a trunk. For a moment he looked interested.

“What happened to it?” he asked. “Where’s it got to now?”

“That storm dragged it out to sea. It wasn’t half dangerous with all them tree trunks falling.

Not much of a change really, but a different and perhaps more direct way to show what happened from the beginning rather than to relate it later.

Again, as I said before, Golding had a very good reason not to start his story that way, and we should respect his choices.

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