Book Review: LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding


This starts off as a classic shipwreck tale. A group of boys are shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. Every adult dies. The boys must survive so they pick a leader, Ralph, and establish rules.

One of the boys, Jack, chooses to break off from the group and create his own group. Jack’s power goes to his head and he begins to recruit people from the old group and hunt down those who do not wish to join. Jack and his minions chase down Ralph until they get back to the beach where they came up on shore after the shipwreck. Ralph falls to his knees from exhaustion and Jack stands up over him ready to end his life. At once, adults from a rescue crew stood close by to take them back to civilization.


Jack craved power, he was dictatorial. He wanted power more than he cared about rescue or anyone’s well being. He wanted to have the final say and it frustrated him when others wanted what he did not want.

Ralph was diplomatic. He wanted as many people to have a say in the direction of the group as possible. He cared about everyone especially the smaller boys. When things didn’t go his way he yielded to the group’s good. He and Jack were exact opposites.

Life Lesson

Myopic domineering leadership can appeal to more people than sensible leaders. In the story, Jack took power from Ralph by feeding the masses fear and near term interests. If this happens, focus on the end goal and hold fast to principles. Keep people’s humanity in mind as you lead.



Leave a Reply