I recently taught this novel to the Seniors at Tampa Bay Tech High School. When I first introduced the title, they were turned off. But somehow we got through it, and once they understood the symbolism and the theme, they got into it.
This novel is not only a classic, it is part of many high school curriculum agendas. For Hillsborough County in Florida, it is the requirement for Seniors. I even read this book as a Senior in 1989.
I have always loved this novel because I really appreciate Golding's artistry and style. He has an incredible vocabulary and yet the story flows in a very easy-to-read and simple manner. The themes are dark, which makes sense considering that the novel came out in 1954 - a very cynical time in the literary world.
In LOTF, Golding presented a story loaded with irony, symbolism, and theme. Man's dark nature, chaos and war, and the loss of innocence are the major themes that run through the novel. Golding was trying to explain that the problems in society are based on human nature, not political structures. I'm sure that Karl Marx would agree with Golding's philosophies at this point in time.
It has a good plot, even though the beginning is focused on character development. There is a lot of action, and a lot of foreshadowing elements. It's basically about a group of boys, who crash land on a deserted island during wartime, and have to survive on their own while they await rescue.
Each of the characters in the novel symbolically represent some figure in society. There's Ralph, who is the elected leader, and Jack who wanted to be the leader and gains control through manipulating the younger/weaker boys with fear and bullying tactics. The human nature conflict is best represented in the struggle for power or control that these two boys face.