It has come to my attention that the book I read, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, has appeared on a number of banned book lists in schools and libraries across the country. Many have also tried to challenge this book, for a number of varying reasons. In this essay, I will talk about what the novel represents, where and why this American classic has been shot down in many schools across the country, and why I believe we should change that.
The book Lord of the Flies was William Golding’s first novel he had published, and also his one that is the most well known. It follows the story of a group of British schoolboys whose plane, supposedly carrying them somewhere safe to live during the vaguely mentioned war going on, crashes on the shore of a deserted island. They try to attempt to cope with their situation and govern themselves while they wait to be rescued, but they instead regress to primal instincts and the manner and mentality of humanity’s earliest societies.
Lord of the Flies was published in 1954 after being rejected by twenty-one publishers. When it did, it wasn’t a huge success in the United States, seeing as it only sold 3,000 copies before going out of print. However, by early 1960, it was a best seller and was required reading in universities and even grade schools across the country.
However, due to its stark and chaos-ensued exploration of human nature, it’s been quite controversial with it’s central theme of putting yourself before the common good. Other themes include conflict between civilization, the human impulse to control others, and living by the rules peacefully and in harmony. The book has thus made it’s home at number eight on the American Library Association’s list of frequently banned classics.
Examples of it being banned included it being challenged in the Dallas, Texas Independent School District’s high school libraries in 1974 and the Sully Buttes, South Dakota high school in 1981. That very same year, it was also challenged at the Owen, North Carolina high school for the reason that the book was ‘demoralizing, in that it implies that man is little more than an animal.’ It was also considered ‘inappropriate reading’ in a Marana, Arizona high school in 1983. A year later, it was challenged by Olney, Texas, Independent...