Prominently featured on the American Library Association’s list of the most banned books ever, Lord of the Flies is a complex allegory packed into a tale of struggle and survival. The book begins when a plane carrying a group of British boarding-school students crashes on an isolated island. The boys (in the truest meaning of the word; the oldest is 13) establish a working society, with Ralph as their charismatic yet humble leader. Order breaks down as Ralph battles with Jack, the leader of the school’s choir, and the entire group slowly descends into chaos. The end, a brutal literal and figurative shattering of humanity, has served as the book’s chief teaching point and mark of contention for half a century. Often seen as a cautionary tale about the breakdown of civilization, the book details “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart” and the horrific possibilities that lie within us all.
Next The Great Gatsby