Is Lord of the Flies an Important Book?Did you like Lord of the Flies? Do you think it's an important book to read?

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

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This book is highly important as it shows us the innate savagery existing in all man, the loss of innocence, and good vs. evil. I was wondering however about a specific idea brought forth to me by one of my students. Why, in chapter 9, is the dance around the fire considered a ritual and how does that contribute to the dehumanization of the boys? I gave him my best possible reply, but i was just curious to see other points of view.

The dance is a ritual because it becomes a part of their routine for killing.  Obviously, it starts with the pigs, but in this case results in the death of Simon.  This particular ritual has grown throughout the novel.  It started with the formation of a circle in order to kill the first pig, then the chanting was added as they triumphantly returned to the tribe.  When they were telling the story to Ralph and the others, it became a sort of game with one tribe member in the middle of the circle playing the part of the pig.  Of course, that game become more vicious everytime it was played, culminating in the death of Simon, eventually.

I don't know if this ritual dehumanizes the boys, but it certainly creates an alter ego for them.  When I teach this novel, I liken it to my football team before a game.  They all have different rituals they participate in, some listen to music, some sit quietly in a corner visualizing, some re-read scouting reports, etc.  But once it's time to hit the field, they are ready for battle.  Most of them take on different personalities for the game.  In my opinion, this is the most haunting aspect of their dance.  The boys stop being boys and become hunters, and it happens to everyone.  Look at how Ralph feels during the killing of Simon as opposed to the next morning.  The beauty of this novel is realizing that those hidden attributes could be inside all of us!

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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This novel is haunting-the visual images it creates stick with you. When you hear news of some type of  savagery in society , the book comes back to you. The human capability to descend into savage acts is timeless.

It is also one of those books that you discover new meaning every time you reread it.

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Is Lord of the Flies an Important Book?

Did you like Lord of the Flies? Do you think it's an important book to read?

I have a confession to make: I didn't read this book until I was an adult. In high school and college my teachers kept saying things like, "Well, you've all already read this, so we'll read something different." As a result, I didn't read this book until this last year, so my perspective may be skewed.

 

I liked sections very much, and found the images—the skull, the conch, the man hanging in the trees—very vivid. However, as a whole, I found it a bit obvious and over-rated. My response my translate to, "That's what all the fuss was about?"

 

I think it is a good critique of Western civilization, and has some good writing, but on the whole, I found it over-rated.

Greg

 

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

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One of my absolute favorite books.

I think it's important for many reasons.  First, I've found it's an excellent way to get teenage kids to talk about socialization with-in their peer groups.  Secondly, they get a chance to explore what the "rules" of society really mean for us.  In terms of literary learning, it's one of the best novels for teaching what irony is....and, if that isn't enough, it's a really good read!  I haven't had many students that didn't enjoy this story line; it's exactly what they'd like to do (if they knew there was no consequence).

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

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I think it's definitely an important book because it's fun to read, and it's a powerful, meaningful book. There really aren't that many books that can captivate from ages 13+ like Lord of the Flies can. 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Is Lord of the Flies an Important Book?

Did you like Lord of the Flies? Do you think it's an important book to read?

Literature is such a personal experience for each person. I like Lord of the Flies because it shows us what I think we are all capable of. To me, there's no doubt that we have the propensity for evil and good. Whether evil or good wins out is determined by our environment, such as how we're raised, how we're treated, the events that happen to us, etc.

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tthakkar | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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This is the kind of book that stays with you for a lifetime, and maybe into the next one. The biggest kick I get out of teaching this book is watching my class discover all the stuff about human nature that I discovered. I know it's pessimistic but then I love film noirs as well.

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coolnerd | Student | (Level 2) eNoter

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This book is highly important as it shows us the innate savagery existing in all man, the loss of innocence, and good vs. evil. I was wondering however about a specific idea brought forth to me by one of my students. Why, in chapter 9, is the dance around the fire considered a ritual and how does that contribute to the dehumanization of the boys? I gave him my best possible reply, but i was just curious to see other points of view.

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tishmel | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

I read this novel when I was about twelve.  It is still one of the most disturbing things I have ever read.  Anything that has the power to stay with a person for decades must have value, in my opinion.  As for its enduring themes, I will be interested in the primere of the new network show, "Kid Nation" in which forty children (under 15, I believe) are given full run of a ghost town for something like a month.

Let's hope there are no conch shells lying about...

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