The team over at Electric Literature has a series called “Fire the Canon” in which a diverse panel of literati make a case for expanding schools’ literary canon as we know it. In this installment, they target Lord of the Flies:
William Golding’s 1954 novel about a group of schoolboys marooned on an island is a masterful fictional take on how societies are built and broken—if you happen to look like the people in charge of society already. What would happen if not everyone on that island was a prep-school white boy? What would happen if nobody was?
Supposedly there’s an all-girls adaptation of Lord of the Flies in the works, an idea that was roundly pilloried on social media but actually has some merit. In the meantime, though, is there a book high school students should be reading that addresses the same issues in a slightly less rarified way?
I’d love to see not only adult voices making this case, but students as well. It could be a way to structure a whole year’s curriculum: reading canonical texts, assessing their merits, and proposing alternatives.