English – Lord of the
William Golding was born on September 19, 1911, in Cornwall, England.
Although he tried to write a novel as early as age twelve, his parents urged him to
study the natural sciences. Golding followed his parents’ wishes until his second year at
Oxford, when he changed his focus to English literature. After graduating from Oxford,
he worked briefly as a theatre actor and director, wrote poetry, and then became a
schoolteacher. In 1940, a year after England entered World War II, Golding joined the
Royal Navy, where he served in command of a rocket-launcher and participated in the
invasion of Normandy.
Golding’s experience in World War II had a profound effect on his view of humanity and
the evils of which it was capable. After the war, Golding resumed teaching and started to
write novels. His first and greatest success came with Lord of the Flies (1954), which
ultimately became a bestseller in both Britain and the United States after more than
twenty publishers rejected it.
The novel itself is an allegory of events in the real world. Jack’s power-hungry manner might be compared to that of
Visually descriptive writing is used to create a sense of place and character. This might work on different levels, e.g.
the threatening words that often describe the undergrowth could also suggest a sinister atmosphere.
This can arise when something good results from something bad, or vice versa; e.g. it is ironic that boys evacuated
from a war then fight, and in some cases kill, each other.
The way the characters speak reveals much about them. Piggy’s dialect shows him to be working-class and Jack’s rude
language reveals his aggression.
Objects can represent ideas. The conch symbolises democracy and order. Piggy’s glasses also stand for civilisation,
linked as they are to vision,...