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Background to Lord of the Flies. Part One: The Author. Lord of the Flies was written by William Golding. Golding graduated from Oxford University. He began by studying science, but graduated with a degree in literature. William Golding. He wrote poetry. &.

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slide4
Golding graduated from Oxford University

He began by studying science, but graduated with a degree in literature.

william golding
William Golding

He wrote poetry

&

Worked in amateur theatre for a while

william golding1
William Golding

Eventually he become a teacher at an all boys school…

william golding2
William Golding

When World War II began in 1939, Golding joined the British Royal Navy

william golding3
William Golding

After the war, Golding began his first novel Lord of the Flies, which was published in 1954

wills
Wills

Lord of the Flies was a great success and allowed Golding to retire from teaching.

wills1
Wills

Golding surprised many when he received the highest honor in literature in 1983 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

slide11
Golding’s winning the award speaks to his great accomplishments in literature and to what he always hoped to achieve with his writing:
slide12
“The purpose of writing is to understand humanity”

According to the dictionary, HUMANITY is defined as: “the quality and condition of being human” or “human nature”

slide13
This is a bold goal for an author to strive to accomplish…

As readers and critics of Lord of the Flies, we must decide for ourselves if Golding accomplishes this goal or if he fails.

influence one the coral island
Influence One:TheCoral Island
  • The Coral Island was a popular adventure book that Golding had read to his sons.
the coral island
The Coral Island

It was a lighthearted adventure tale about boys stranded on a deserted, tropical island

the coral island1
The Coral Island

Major characters were:

and Ralph

Jack

the coral island2
The Coral Island

The story involved:

Buried Treasure

Hunting Pigs

And Pirates

the coral island3
The Coral Island

Most of all… A Happy Ending

the coral island4
The Coral Island

This book inspired Golding with the plot involving boys stranded on a deserted island, but he wondered…

“What would really happen if boys were stranded on an island with no adults?”

slide24
His experience in the war exposed him to savagery and cruelty in the world, which changed his outlook on life.
influence three
Influence Three:

Nuclear Holocaust

slide28
The Cold War was a period of intense conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, although no official war was ever declared
slide29
Nevertheless, many people at the time believed that a nuclear war would occur which might destroy the world
slide30
In fact,the boys ended up on the island in Lord of the Flies because they were being evacuated from England due to a nuclear war breaking out.
slide32
Golding’s experiences as a teacher allowed him to observe and understand boys around the age of the characters in Lord of the Flies and many of the characters were based on his students
slide33
His interaction with boys this age made him question whether humans were naturally inclined to obey rules or whether it was institutions such as:

School

&

Government

slide35

Savage

Golding began to wonder if human’s natural state was:

rather than

Civilized

which brings us to
Which brings us to…

Part Three:

Themes in Lord of the Flies

the first theme is
The first theme is:

Civilized

vs.

Savage

slide41
Golding believes that CIVILIZED people stop to REASON

While SAVAGE people follow their INSTINCTS

slide46
Ultimately Golding decided that people were instinctively evil and a society of law and order was need to protect humans from each other.
slide47
Golding believed if it were ultimately up to Man, if they had complete freedom, people would naturally become cruel, savage and barbaric.
slide48
The boys on the island in Lord of the Flies have complete freedom and the novel becomes a study on what will happen when children are put in this situation…
the second theme is
The second theme is:

Loss of Innocence

slide50
Children are often thought to be INNOCENT, meaning that they have no evil in them until it is introduced to it from an outside influence…
slide51
The children in this book progress from being well-behaved and orderly…

…to cruel, blood-thirsty hunters

slide53
Golding suggests that with no set of rules to keep the children in-line they will eventually unleash the evil and savagery that has always existed in them.
slide54
What this implies is that civilization (rules and order of society) can control,

but never wipe out the inner evil that exists within all human beings.

slide55
There are many other themes and important concepts in Lord of the Flies but hopefully this introduction prepared you for some of the issues this novel deals with.