Lois Lowry on Lord of the Flies

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Lois Lowry takes to the New York Times with her story of reading Lord of the Flies for the first time at age sixteen, and how her perspective on its portrayal of children and violence has (and hasn’t) changed in the book’s six decades since publication:

Today’s young readers, inundated as they have been recently by violent apocalyptic books, probably cannot imagine the effect William Golding’s novel had on the innocent and introspective girl that I was then. I would look down from my dormitory room window onto a campus dominated by fraternities with their obscure, occasionally cruel, rituals. Golding’s fable began to take on a more complicated meaning for me. I was shocked.


Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →