"When Lord of the Flies appeared in 1954 it received unprecedented reviews for a first novel. Critics used such phrases as "beautifully written, tragic and provocative...vivid and enthralling...this beautiful and desperate book...completely convincing and often very frightening...its progress is magnificent...like a fragment of nightmare...a dizzy climax of terror...the terrible spell of this book..." E.M. Forster chose it as the Outstanding Novel of the Year. Time and Tide touched upon perhaps the most important facet of this book when it said "It is not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times," and articles on this and subsequent Golding novels have stressed these twin aspects of Golding: a consummate control of the novel form, and a superb all-encompassing vision of the reality which communicates itself with a power reniniscent of Conrad."
I remember, looking back, that I had to read this book for the first time in junior high school. I hated it as much as I loved it at the time. There some sense of eerie creepiness about it, probably because I imagined myself as one of the boys on the stranded island. I again had to read this, I think twice, in high school. It seemed the more I read it-the more I enjoyed the plausible reality of it.
In the story Ralph & Piggy were my favorite characters. Ralph showed an adulthood about him in making choices to better their situation. What I admired in Piggy was what lacked in Ralph, an understanding of how things should be. Piggy was quite annoying, but if he were real I would identify him as a potential friend. He had the characteristics that make for a strong and endearing friendship. SamnEric come in a close third, they're funny and witty and cute.
The way the children set up a type of society, standards, ranks, jobs and rules was just amazingly written. However I believe back when I was forced to read this chapter 8's scene with the hunter's and the pig slaughter, and the demise of both Simon and Piggy it was not a children's book. It was too morbid and graphic for someone in that time and age to be reading in my opinion.
With the lack of fire, Simon unable to explain "the Beast," and the inablility to flag the ship you begin to wonder will they ever be rescued?! In retrospect I think the ending could have been tweaked just a bit. It seemed as if it was just an abrupt ending. I would have liked to have read about Ralph punching Jack square in his face and breaking his nose. To me...that would have been a fabulous and way more appropriate ending.