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William Golding. Born on September 19, 1911 in Cornwall , England Educated at Oxford His father, Alec Golding, was a Science Master and a socialist His mother, Mildred, supported the campaigns for female suffrage. William Golding. Listed his hobbies as Thinking Classical Greek

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William Golding

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william golding
William Golding
  • Born on September 19, 1911 in

Cornwall, England

  • Educated at Oxford
  • His father, Alec Golding, was a Science Master and a socialist
  • His mother, Mildred, supported the campaigns for female suffrage
william golding1
William Golding
  • Listed his hobbies as
    • Thinking
    • Classical Greek
    • Sailing
    • Archeology
  • Married Ann Brookfield, an analytic chemist, (1939) and was the father of two
  • English and philosophy teacher
golding war service
Golding: War Service
  • Served in the Royal Navy in WWII
  • Involved in the pursuit and sinking of German battleship, Bismarck
  • Participated in the Normandy D-Day invasion, commanded a battleship/destroyer
  • “I began to see what people are capable of doing…Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must have been blind or wrong in the head.” ~ Golding
golding s literary contributions
Golding’s Literary Contributions
  • Lord of the Flies ~ 1954
  • The Inheritors ~ 1955
  • Pincher Martin ~ 1956
  • Free Fall ~ 1959
  • Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983
    • “His books illuminate the human condition”
  • Knighted by the Queen in 1988

Accepting Nobel from His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden in 1983

notes on golding
Notes on Golding
  • Often writes in allegorical fiction
  • Allegory: characters and settings represent moral concepts, symbolize human existence
  • The novel is an ironic response to Ballantyne’sCoral Island
    • Boys also stranded, optimistic view of mid-19th century England
others on golding
Others on Golding
  • “Golding’s view is pessimistic: human nature is inherently violent, which reflects the post-war and post-Hitler years.”
  • “In this book, as in few others at the present time, are findings of psychoanalysts of all schools, anthropologists, social psychologists and philosophical historians mobilized into an attack upon the central problem of modern thought: the nature of the human personality and the reflection of the personality on society.” (Epstein)
As a child, Golding had witnessed WWI, which was referred to as “the war to end all wars”
  • HOWEVER, 22 years later Britain was again involved in ANOTHER WAR to end all wars, which caused more devastation than was imaginable
events of wwii
Events of WWII
  • 1939- Britain joined France in war against Nazi Germany
  • 1940- Fall of France
  • 1940- Fascist Italy joins the Axis with Germany
  • 1941- Japan attacks Pearl Harbor causing USA to declare war on Japan and enter the war
  • 1944- D-Day Normandy Landings
  • 1945- Bombing of Dresden
  • 1945- European victory celebrated
  • 1945- Atomic Bomb dropped in Hiroshima immediately killing 60-80,000 people (final death toll 135,000 people)
on writing lord of the flies
On Writing Lord of the Flies

“It was simply what seemed sensible for me to write after the war when everyone was thanking God they weren’t Nazis. I’d seen enough to realize that every single one of us could be Nazis.”

--William Golding


Title Translation

  • “Beelzebub” a Hebrew word for LUCIFER
  • However, the literal translation of “Beelzebub” into English is LORD OF THE FLIES
  • Golding once allowed his class of boys total freedom in a debate, but had to intervene as mayhem soon broke out
  • Experiences in war
  • Critical response to Coral Island by R.M. Ballanytyne
  • Philosophical questions about human nature
philosophical influence
Philosophical Influence
  • John Hobbes
    • English Philosopher: 1588- 1679
    • Man is by nature selfishly individualistic
    • Man constantly at war with other men
    • Fear of violent death is sole motivation to create civilizations
    • Men need to be controlled by absolute sovereignty to avoid brutish behavior
facts about the novel
Facts About the Novel
  • Rejected 21 times before it was published
  • It was his first novel- published in 1954
  • Not successful until the early 1960’s
  • On the American Library Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.
story synopsis
Story Synopsis
  • Set in mid 1940’s when Europe was engulfed in war.
  • A plane carrying British school boys is mistaken for a military craft and shot down.
  • Only the boys survive the crash and try to form a society and govern themselves.
golding s message
Golding’s Message

“The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature.”

--William Golding

  • Survival
  • Power/leadership styles
  • Civilization vs. Savagery
  • Loss of Innocence
  • Human nature
      • Duality of man
      • Nature Vs. Nurture
      • Good Vs. Evil
  • Use of the names Ralph and Jack as the main characters from The Coral Island
  • Simon from the Bible “Simon called Peter”, Peter was the other boy’s name in TheCoral Island
  • Mention of Coral Island and TreasureIsland
  • Numerous biblical allusions throughout
golding s literary technique
Golding’s Literary Technique
  • Heavy use of symbolism
  • Irony
  • Abundant imagery and sensory detail
  • Figurative Language




lof in pop culture
LOF in Pop Culture
  • In Hook, Robin Williams compares Lost Boys to savages in LOTF
  • The Simpsons episode “Das Bus” is a parody
  • Inspiration for the anime series Infinite Ryvius
  • Mel Gibson’s 2006 movie Apocalypto has a similar ending
  • T.V. shows Survivor and Lost are said to have been inspired from LOTF
  • 2006 movie Unaccompanied Minors makes reference to LOTF
popular culture cont
Popular Culture Cont.
  • Stephen King uses the name “Castle Rock” (from the novel) as the name of a town in his books. He also makes reference to LOTF in the novels The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Cujo and Hearts in Atlantis
  • Orson Scott Card makes reference in his novel, Ender’s Shadow
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation, DannyPhantom, The Daily Show all mention the novel
source of inspiration to musicians
Source of Inspiration to Musicians
  • Musicians Iron Maiden, Gatsby’s American Dream, Nine Inch Nails, Tori Amos, A.F.I., and Danielle Dax have all recorded songs about the novel.

Titles such as:

“Where the Flies Are”

“Touch Piggy’s Eyes”

“Lord of the Flies”



william golding2
William Golding
  • Died on June 19, 1993 in

Cornwall, England

  • Died from a heart attack
  • He was buried in the village

churchyard at Bowerchalke,

South Wiltshire