I have not read William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, a text many meet in high school literature class. Despite this, I thought I knew the plot through cultural reference. There was that Simpsons episode, where the Springfield yellow school bus goes off route and sees the kids stranded on a deserted island. There is the U2 song ‘Shadows and Tall Trees’, and that scene from Hook where Robin Williams (as a grown-up Peter Pan) interrupts the rowdy Lost Boys to ask, ‘What is this, some kind of Lord of the Flies preschool?’
Lord of the Flies is one of those texts that exists in culture, and so I never quite felt the need to read it. However, seeing the dramatic red posters promoting the Sydney Theatre Company’s upcoming performance, I was gripped. It could have been the beast’s black skull etched on red background that grabbed me. It seemed scary, dangerous, appetising. ‘I want to see Lord of the Flies’, I messaged a friend, disappointed there was no fly emoji. Why they replied with a pig emoji I did not know, but I assumed it meant something. Was there a pig in the Simpsons episode, too?
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