43 Lord Of The Flies Facts You May Not Have Learnt In High School

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 16, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Apr 06, 2022
Young woman reading a book lying in hammock

'Lord Of The Flies' is the story of a group of kids being rescued from a high-risk area during the fallout of a nuclear war.

After a plane crash, they are trapped alone on an idyllic desert island. The book explores the several attempts made by the boys to save themselves until they are finally rescued.

Written by William Golding, the book explores the tragic parody of the adventure tales of children, and the intrinsic evil nature of human beings. In this book, Golding represents all incidents in chronological order, where the children try to survive disasters from the unsupervised, uncivilized, and isolated environment till help comes.

However, did you know that no publisher wanted to publish Golding's 'Lord Of The Flies,' which went on sell a million copies and received much critical acclaim? You can read more such interesting facts in Golding's biography, written by John Carey.

Facts About The Characters

Check out these facts about the characters from the novel.

Ralph, a 12-year boy, is the protagonist of the novel.

After being elected as the leader of all the children on the island, he coordinates with everyone to develop a miniature civilization until they are rescued.

He is also known for opposing the actions of Jack, and represents the civilizing instincts of human nature.

Simon is a sensitive and shy boy in the group and some believe that he is the only truly good character in the novel.

He is always ready to work for the good of the community and behaves kindly towards the younger boys.

His motivations are rooted in a deep feeling of connection with nature.

He is the only character in the novel who is not entirely shaped by society.

Simon represents natural goodness in the society, which is opposed by the evil of Jack.

Jack is one of the oldest boys on the island and the novel's antagonist.

Jack is one of the main characters, who becomes the leader of the hunters. As the story progresses, Jack becomes more barbaric, wild, and cruel.

He manipulates the little boys. Jack represents savagery and opposes Ralph's civilizing instincts.

Roger is the lieutenant of Jack, and a cruel and sadistic boy. He murders Piggy by rolling over a boulder and brutalizes the younger children.

Piggy is the lieutenant of Ralph, and an intellectual and whiny person. His inventiveness leads to the creation of new things, like a makeshift sundial to tell time.

He represents the rational and scientific side of civilization.

Eric and Sam are two twin characters in this book by William Golding. They are always together, so the twins are treated as a single entity.

The characters (Sam and Eric) are called by the name 'Samneric.' They are a part of the gang of 'biguns,' and by the end of the novel, they become victims of Jack's coercion and manipulation.

Little-Known Facts About The Book

Many believe that over the years, the human capacity for savagery has not changed. This book by William Golding reveals the shocking side of human nature that can upset readers and left a lasting impression on them.

Even after decades, 'Lord Of The Flies' has remained one of the novels that catches readers off-guard, mostly due to its portrayal of young characters. The writing is crisp and captivating, which made this book a bestseller. Some facts about this novel are:

'Lord Of The Flies' was written as a reaction to the book 'The Coral Island' by R.M. Ballantyne. R.M. Ballantyne initiated the craze of ‘children as heroes’ stories. His novels presented children who faced adversity with dignity and integrity.

'Lord Of The Flies' became a huge success in the UK and the US. As students showed interest in reading this book in school, it was translated into different languages.

In the 20th century, when the novel was first published by William Golding, it received much negative criticism. He was inspired by 'The Coral Island,' but gave a very different perspective to readers.

The novel made its position to the top booklists. When the first edition was published, no one had imagined it would become so popular.

Charles Monteith, an editor, actually picked the script out from the trash and persuaded his colleagues to buy it for a sum of $79 (£60). 

In the United States, 3,000 copies were sold in the first run. Soon, it became what many believe is the most celebrated modern novel of all time.

TIME listed it as the Best English Book in 2005. It remained extremely popular and was successfully adapted into a movie.

Another fact that readers might not know is that the novel was banned even after receiving so much recognition from different parts of the world.

In the '60s, several attempts were made to ban it from schools.

This novel presented many different types of characters, plots, symbolisms, and themes that were taught to students in school.

'Lord Of The Flies' is a name that was inspired by Beelzebub. William Golding drew from the figure of Beelzebub and then wrote this book. This novel shows how the desert island was infected by the boys' actions.

Did you know that 'Lord Of The Flies' is one of Stephen King's favorite books?

Facts About The Author

William Golding was the author of the famous 'Lord Of The Flies' and he often referred to himself as monstrous to his family. He wrote a memoir that was never published, where he spoke about his inner troubles and his relationship with his wife. Here are some other interesting facts about Golding.

William Golding was a musician and an actor who completed his studies at Oxford.

His father, a schoolmaster, thought he would become a scientist.

In 1983, Golding won a Nobel Prize in Literature for his honest approach to writing about life in 'Lord Of The Flies.'

Most of his stories were based in islands and villages, and he was awarded the title of 'Sir' in 1988 by the Queen.

His family considered him to be a self-loathing and complicated yet funny man.

When he and his family were sailing to France, their boat got stuck, and they had to be pulled back to safety. However, the ship was lost.

'Lord Of The Flies' is an allegorical novel where the characters are separated from modern civilization. Many writers have since borrowed plot elements from this novel.

Golding's wife revealed that he may have left teaching literature to join the Royal Navy in the '40s.

Before publishing his writing in the form of a novel, he was rejected 21 times. Many claimed his true nature involved being a brat; he also loved to hurt people.

His book has entered the school curriculum.

Apart from being interested in literature, he fought battleships in the Second World War at the sinking of the Bismarck. He was also involved in the launch of the rocket craft.

The Second World War influenced the setting and themes of this novel, and the title has a religious significance.

The British novelist Golding wrote this critically-acclaimed book and received the Nobel Prize in 1983 for Literature. Apart from the Nobel Prize, he also received other awards like the Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and a knighthood.

Facts About The Movie

This book, which won the Nobel Prize, was also turned into a movie. Here are some facts about the movie.

Peter Brook, the director of 'Lord Of The Flies,' reviewed 3,000 boy actors before choosing the main cast.

As per the filmmaker, the loud noises from the jungle and sea were so high that it was difficult to record the dialogues at the locations where every scene was filmed.

Actors were taken to a different location at the end of the day to record their dialogues.

The film was shot in the jungle, in a school, and in the interior part of the islands.

In the first week, the movie was shot in Puerto Rico, at the islands of Vieques.

The invasion of the Bay of Pigs disrupted the filming.

Hugh Edwards, an 11-year-old boy, played the role of Piggy in the film. He won the role by writing a letter to the director.

Hugh wrote that as he was fat and wore spectacles, he was a perfect fit for the character. Getting the role was a big opportunity in his life.

35 years after the film was shot, in 1996, a documentary was created by the BBC, and it was named 'Time Flies.' In this documentary, the main cast and crew reunited on the beaches of the Caribbean, where it was shot.

After that, an article was written by Tom Gaman where he said that only James Aubrey, who played the character of Ralph, went on to pursue an acting career.

Other characters went for different things in life. Tom Chapin became a gold mine geologist, Gaman a freelance forester, and the twins, Simon Surtees and David Surtees lived together with their families.

After the film's shooting began, the director encouraged the young people to improvise.

The result of the shoot was 60 hours of footage, which was then edited to a 90-minute story. No one was given credit for the screenplay.

The 60-hour movie was edited to a 100-minute movie.

It was featured in the Cannes Film Festival from May 9-22, 1963.

After that, a few changes were made to the movie.

The US distributor felt that the film needed to be further edited, and it was reduced to 90 minutes. At that time, the fire scenes that developed the role of Ralph were cut.

'Lord Of The Flies' is a novel that became a cult classic. While reading it, you will come across several harrowing situations that the boys experienced. This novel reveals the dark side of society and life, and we do need to pay attention to that as well.


Why is 'Lord Of The Flies' called this?

This book refers to Beelzebub, another name for the devil. He is also popular by the name 'Lord of Filth and Dung.' In this story, you will find that the children soon come to fit that name.

What is the main message of 'Lord Of The Flies'?

In this novel, many believe that the author wishes to convey what the government and authorities have to do to maintain a safe environment.

Why was 'Lord Of The Flies' banned?

Bullying is one of the major topics discussed in this book. It also has defamatory statements about minorities, God, women, and the disabled. Due to these reasons, it was banned.

Does 'Lord Of The Flies' have bad words?

'Lord Of The Flies' features profanity and has lurid passages dealing with much difficult and inappropriate content.

What do the boys eat in 'Lord Of The Flies'?

The boys eat fruits, fish, and wild pigs to survive.

Is the 'Lord Of The Flies' movie scary?

The movie has many scary scenes.

Who died in 'Lord Of The Flies'?

Piggy and Simon died before the arrival of the British Navy.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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