This novel is an absolutely wonderful piece of literature. It is funny, moving, emotional, and beautifully crafted. Golding's attention to detail here are second to none, and the symbolism he uses in this fantastic novel is extremely complex.
The whole experience can smilarly be described as complex, but not complicated. It is easy to follow and enjoy, but as you look beneath the surface, the novel features surprises, foreshaddowing and religious significance.
As the boys lose their rules they develop and Jack forms his own tribe of terror, events in the book progress from simple bullying to stylised animal rape and even murder. Golding effectively uses these episodes to explore the darkness of man's heart, and the novel can show us what we are capable of in a similar situation.
The characters range from the Christ-like figure of Simon to the Satanic symbol that is Roger, and the opposite extremes provide a great contrast to create the tensions Golding has in the novel.
The effective conclusion is very pessimistic as is Golding's outlook on the subject:
"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy".
It is a wonderful novel that everyone should read; as a good story, as beautiful literature and as a dire warning.