Top positive review
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It Complements The Novel, But Doesn't Substitute For It
on December 1, 2002
Few students in America can get out of high school without having to read Lord Of The Flies in English class sometime during the four years that they are there. The story is fairly easy to understand on a superficial level, but the real purpose of this novel is to understand symbolism and foreshadowing. Items in the novel like Piggy's glasses and the conch shell have a "deeper" meaning that may not be obvious to every reader. If the reader is keen, he'll be able to realize that the author tells the reader what is going to happen in a subliminal way prior to actually coming out and saying it. That's called foreshadowing, and it may also be difficult for some readers to comprehend. For these reasons, these Cliffs Notes are extremely useful. The reader will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the novel by using this supplement while reading the actual novel. With these notes, the reader is given the added benefit of reading commentary written by someone who has already read the book, and is capable of breaking down the significant parts of every chapter.
One drawback to having these notes (as is the drawback to having ANY Cliffs Notes) is the temptation to substitute the notes for the actual novel. While this substitution may work for other novels, it isn't a good idea to think it unnecessary to read the book just because you've read the notes. I tried that, and it didn't work. Besides, the Cliffs Notes are just about as long as the actual book, so you might as well read the real thing.
The bottom line is that these notes are a good investment if you want to gain a good understand of the novel, and insight into what your English teacher might think is important. I recommend these notes.