One of the highlights of my Senior English course is teaching Lord of the Flies. It's often taught a younger ages in other schools, but I use it as a "send off" for seniors. Reading Lord of the Flies is the last thing we do in class.
Why I consider Lord of the Flies a "Great Book":
The degeneration of a band of British school boys stranded on a deserted island during wartime is a frightening mirror for all human endeavors. Selfishness, greed, egoism, violence--all the ugly depths of the human psyche are laid open when the stress of survival pushes the kids too far.
The book plays with the dichotomy of civilization and savagery. As a nice parallel, the boys hunt pigs--swine are known to turn feral rather quickly when left to their own devices.
And then there's that Nobel Prize...
Favorite Line (*spoiler alert*):
"And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."
I, for one, am looking forward to Stephen King's introduction in the new edition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Golding's birth.