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Lord of the Flies
William Golding
William Golding (1911-1993)
Born in Cornwall, UK
Studied anthropology,
archaeology, literature in
Became a school teacher
Entered the navy during
WWII; participated in the
invasion of Normandy on
Won the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1983
Historical Perspective
WWI – the “Great War” or the “War to end all
– Can we ever have peace?
WWII – the advent of the atom bomb – power
to destroy the world?
– Britain feared an invasion and evacuated children to
other countries
– 1940- A German U-Boat torpedoed a British ship
carrying children, killing the boys, thus suspending
the overseas evacuation program
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
Lord of the Flies
Published in 1954
Rejected 21 times before
being published!
On the American Library
Association’s list of the 100
Most Frequently Challenged
Books of 1990-2000.
Written partially in
response to The Coral
Island, a story of how
people supposedly ascend
in their goodness on an
Guiding Questions
What makes an individual
Should intelligence be the
primary qualification for
How does a society maintain
order? Are laws necessary?
What qualities should leaders
possess? Why?
Thematic Concepts in the Novel
 Duality
of man
 Civilization vs. Savagery
 Loss of Innocence
 Original Sin
 Fear that separates one from God
 Nature of Good and Evil
 Goodness is rare and fleeting
Symbols to Ponder While Reading
The island
The conch
Piggy’s glasses
The fire
The “beastie”
The “littluns”
The pig
The names of the boys
Basic Philosophies to Consider
While Reading
Humans are inherently evil; society establishes
government to curb evil instincts
 Humans are inherently good; humans are born
good and are corrupted by society
 Humans are inherently neutral; our experiences
determine the balance between good and evil
Golding’s Literary Technique
 Irony
 Figurative Language (simile, metaphor, personification)
 Imagery and sensory detail
 Allusions (references to stories, names, history outside the text)
 Allegory (A narrative having a second meaning beneath the surface
one - a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic
meaning. An expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to
describe some subject by suggestive resemblances)
Terms to Remember
Microcosm = A small
world that represents
the world at large
Edenic = Eden-like, a
setting that has not
yet been spoiled by