SparkNotes Blog

21 Rejected Titles William Golding Considered Before Settling on Lord of the Flies


Lord of the Flies is a good title for a book. It’s intriguing. It’s punchy. Seems like a no-brainer. 

I was therefore shocked to learn that William Golding considering calling it something else! Originally, he wanted to call it Strangers from Within, which does not sound like a horrifying classroom staple about the fine line between order and chaos. Rather it sounds like a poem I would have written when I was fourteen and up to my eyeballs in Jonas Brothers-related angst.

I figure there are probably other titles William Golding considered using and then didn’t. I could Google this to find out, I bet. However, I’m choosing instead to come up with my own list and simply assume it’s correct. Here, then, are some titles William Golding almost certainly rejected before he decided to go with Lord of the Flies:

1. Unsupervised Island Murder Time

2. The Thrill of the Hunt

3. Well, Time to Burn Down the Island, I Guess

4. Everyone Was a Little TOO Quick to Remove Their Clothes and Start Running Around with Pointy Sticks, I Feel Like

5. The Darkness Inside Us All

6. A Beast by Any Other Name

7. “My Bad, You Guys” (and Other Ways to Respond When You May Have Committed a Murder But You’re Not 100% Sure)

8. How to Slowly Dismantle a Civilized Group Dynamic

9. Really Obvious Foreshadowing: The Novel

10. Everyone Who’s Not Actually Important is Named Something Like Henry or Robert

11. If We Don’t Have the Conch Shell, Do We Really Have Anything?

12. It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone’s Getting Hunted for Sport and Half the Island’s on Fire

13. Chaos Reigns

14. Ralph Spends Half the Book Trying to Convince the Other Boys to Find Food So They Don’t Die

15. Roger is a Sociopath and No One’s Talking About It

16. Yet Again, There’s Been a Breakdown in Communication Between Jack and Ralph

17. Signal Fires and Why They’re Important (The Answer Involves Getting Rescued, Which You’d Think Would be Obvious, But What Do I Know)

18. Killing Pigs in a Ritual Sacrifice (and Other Signs You’ve Joined a Death Cult)

19. Don’t Bring a Conch Shell to a Boulder Fight

20. I Can’t Believe These Small Children Couldn’t Even Form a Thriving Microcosm of Society

21. Maybe the Real Beast Was the Friends We Made Along the Way