I really don't know what kind of criteria this book met to receive as much acclamation over the years as it has, it is the absolute worst book I've ever read. Pessimistic, cynical, jaded and completely blind to the truth of the human condition, Golding uses this book as an opportunity to highlight the worst part of the human condition. Golding's message that mankind is imprisoned by civilization, and once we are freed from it we will return to "savage" roots is baseless and nihilistic. Save yourself the agravation and do not read this book. If you are looking for a cautionary tale of some sort, read 1984 by George Orwell or anything other than this insulting piece of overrated literature.