Lord of the Flies
Date: 1974, 1981, 1983, 1984
Region: North America
Subject: language graphic violence
Artist: William Golding
Confronting Bodies: Dallas, Texas, Independent School District high school libraries; Sully Buttes High School (South Dakota); Owen High School (North Carolina); Marana High School (Arizona); Olney, Texas, Independent School District.
Dates of Action: 1974, 1981, 1983, 1984
Location: The United States of America
Description of Artwork: Lord of the Flies (1954) is a kind of parody of Robert Michael Ballantyne’s The Coral Island (1858), a Robinson Crusoe-type story that was once popular with English boys. Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s modern characters are schoolboys marooned on an island while fleeing the horrors of an unspecified nuclear war. In the absence of adult rules and institutions, their behavior grows increasingly uncivilized, until the dominant band actually begins killing boys. The novel concludes at the moment that the band is about to capture Ralph, the last civilized boy. The bloodthirsty chase is interrupted by the sudden appearance on the beach of a British naval officer, who thinks the boys are merely playing. An unspoken irony is the fact that the warship of the ostensibly civilized officer is itself in the midst of a deadly manhunt.
The Incident: unknown
Results of Incident: The book was removed from school libraries and curriculum in the above school districts.