You Know Why I Don’t Read More Classics?

Finally after probably the most gruesome four days I have had in a long time, I was able to prop open my eyelids long enough last night to complete reading the first of my ten classics: “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book (but I never saw the movie either, so take that for what it’s worth).

Actually, the first half of this book was so good I was breezing through it. And then. And then. And then? They started getting all loopy and tribal and poking each other with “sticks that had been sharpened on both ends” and killing pigs and all that stuff and then I started just not loving it (that was also right about when I stopped being able to eat too, so I’m guessing my lack of patience with just about anything was in play here).

Because the cynical woman in me wants to say – well, you dump a bunch of boys on an island and it’s natural selection – kill or be killed. Whereas, if you dumped a bunch of girls on an island, you have to figure you’d eventually find them in several small cliques, sunning themselves on the beaches and marvelling at their deserted island diet success. Maybe that’s why there was no female version of this book?

I finished the book last night and then immediately following the story was several pages of analysis of the book from several scholars and as I skimmed them I was thinking to myself, “Really? Well, shoot. If that was the point of the book, I missed it completely.” I think that is my biggest problem with classics – that they have been analyzed to the nth degree and you have no shortage of people telling you what they were about. Now, I’m the type of chick who looks for the meaning of things – when it strikes me – by no means am I going to dissect each word on the page and LOOK for it. If I have to work that hard to gather the hidden agenda, I don’t want it.

I’ll be getting back to “Catch-22” soon – in my downtime, I’m currently reading a book by Carrie Fisher. Aside from her Princess Leia fame, she’s actually a decent writer. She’s quirky and her dialogue always makes me laugh. And after four days of reading about boys on an island, I could use a laugh.

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3 Comments »

  1. Becky said

    Hi, Sarah! I thought I had lost the link to your 101 Blog, but fortunately found an e-mail buried in my in-box. I’ve never read Lord of the Flies (or seen the movie either), but I’m guessing your analysis is pretty accurate. LOL Well, one down and nine to go, right??? We have a book club at work, and the “classic” they picked is Deliverance. #1 – I never knew it was a book, and #2 – that’s not my idea of a classic. Of course, the person who suggested it is a late-20s male. Go figure.

  2. the101list said

    Really? Deliverance is a book? (I’ve never seen the movie either).

    And absolutely, one down and 9 to go. You’ll have to let me know what your book club picks next.

  3. Back when I used to be a substitute teacher, I took over for a teacher who went on pregnancy leave. Her class was what I think of when I hear the phrase “class from hell”. Every single time I left the classroom to talk to a kid in the hallway who was going ballistic, I was dead certain that I would return to a scene from “Lord of the Flies” when I opened up the door again. And that absolutely included the girls in that class, too! The book now scares me.

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