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Lord of the Flies. William Golding. Golding was born September 19, 1911 in Cornwall, England He attended both Malboro and Oxford colleges, but he graduated from Oxford He studied natural science and English.

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william golding
William Golding
  • Golding was born September 19, 1911 in Cornwall, England
  • He attended both Malboro and Oxford colleges, but he graduated from Oxford
  • He studied natural science and English
Golding trained as a scientist, briefly worked as an actor, and finally settled on being a teacher
  • During World War II, Golding joined the Royal Navy
  • It was during the war that Golding lost the idea that men are inherently good after he witnessed the evil of war from both sides. He no longer believed that humans have an innocent nature
After the war, Golding resumed teaching and began writing novels and published an anthology of poems
  • Lord of the Flies was Golding’s first success and he was able to retire from teaching to continue writing
  • Golding won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983
what should you come to understand by the end of this unit
What should you come to understand by the end of this unit?
  • There is a little bit of evil in all of us.
  • The true nature of humans has perplexed thinkers for thousands of years.
  • Novelists often use their fiction to make statements about their personal or political beliefs.
essential questions
Essential questions…
  • What is our true human nature?
  • Why do people disagree about our true human nature?
  • How does Golding use setting and characters in Lord of the Flies to express his ideas about people?
lord of the flies facts
Lord of the Flies facts
  • Most of the characters, actions and objects in the novel symbolize larger ideas
  • Golding’s novel deals with the conflict between the rational mind and natural instinct
  • Golding believed that people were instinctively evil and society was needed to protect humans from each other.
Lord of the Flies continued

The novel takes place during a fictional nuclear war.

A group of British schoolboys are flown out of their country to “protect” them from the horrors of war.

Lord of the Flies continued

However, their plane crashes, killing all the adults on board.

The boys remain stranded on the tropical island to fend for themselves…

in golding s day a popular boys adventure story was
In Golding’s day a popular boys adventure story was…
  • The Coral Island
  • A story most boys and adults in England would be familiar with.
the coral island
The Coral Island
  • Written in 1858, it’s a lighthearted tale about boys stranded on a deserted, tropical island
  • The major characters are Jack, Ralph, and Peterkin
  • It’s an adventure story with hidden treasure and a happy ending
basic issue
Basic Issue:
  • Is man essentially good or is man essentially evil?
john locke
John Locke
  • English essayist and philosopher (1632-1704)
  • Believed that people were neither good or bad, but blank slates.
  • Locke argued that we are the result of the experiences we have in our life. We are the result of our environment—he called this the Tabula Rasa Theory.
jean jacques rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • French philosopher (1712-1778)
  • Disagreed with Locke—he believed that mankind, in his primitive state, is pure, but the institutions of society corrupt us.
  • Based his findings on observations of primitive peoples. He found that even without written language or societal institutions, these people were still kind and thoughtful. He called this the Noble Savage.
charles darwin
Charles Darwin
  • English naturalist (1809-1882)
  • Says that the question is really beside the point—people are neither good or bad, they are most like animals.
  • Believed in the idea of the survival of the fittest.
  • Like animals, people bring certain knowledge into the world—instincts.
darwin continued
Darwin continued:
  • Categories for instincts:
    • Eating
    • Self-defense
    • Propagation of the species
    • Maternal instincts
    • Territorial imperative (defending one’s territory)
sigmund freud
Sigmund Freud
  • Austrian psychiatrist (1856-1939)
  • Believes in 3 components of the human mind:
    • ID—functions in the irrational and emotional part of the mind. It is the primitive mind and is concerned only with the pleasure principle—I want it and I want it now!
freud continued
Freud continued

2. EGO—functions with the rational mind. The EGO’s job is to get the ID’s pleasures while negotiating the long-term consequences. It denies instant gratification and pious delay of gratification.

freud continued1
Freud continued

3. SUPEREGO—the moral part of the mind. It is the embodiment of parental and societal values—it stores and enforces the rules. Its power to enforces rules comes from its ability to create anxiety.