William Golding

by Dominique from Fullerton

"The War taught us not fighting, politics or the follies of nationalism, but about the given nature of man."
Sir William Golding (Wikipedia)
Sir William Golding (Wikipedia)

Sir William Golding (1911-1993) was a British novelist and poet who won the coveted Nobel Prize for literature for his novel Lord of the Flies. He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature for his novel Rites of Passage.

Golding was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. His father was a schoolmaster and raised him to be a scientist, but he discovered his passion for literature while at Oxford and decided to pursue that instead. He graduated in 1934 and published his first set of poems in 1935. He became a teacher at Bishop Wordsworth's School, but then felt compelled to join the Royal Navy in 1940 during World World II. During his 6 years of service, he saw action against battleships, submarines, and aircraft. He was also present off the French coast for the D-Day invasion. He finished his Naval service as Lieutenant in command of a rocket launcher.

After the war he returned to teaching, and began to write again. His experience in WWII had a pronounced effect on his view of humanity and its evils. He published his first novel Lord of the Flies in 1954, which eventually became a bestseller in England and the United States after numerous publishers had rejected it.

Lord of the Flies depicts the story of a group of English schoolboys marooned on a tropical island after their plane is shot down during a war. The boys soon realize they are free from the rules and structures of civilization and society, and the boys on the island plummet into savagery. The boys divide into factions; some behave peacefully and work together to maintain order and achieve common goals, while others rebel and seek only anarchy and violence. In his portrayal of the small world of the island, Golding paints a broader picture of the fundamental human struggle between the civilizing instinct—the impulse to obey rules, behave morally, and act lawfully—and the savage instinct—the impulse to seek brute power over others, act selfishly, scorn moral rules, and indulge in violence. ~ Summary from Banned Books Library.

Page created on 3/17/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/17/2008 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

William Golding - The Nobel Prize in Literature 1983

Extra Info

Dominique is currently pursuing her teaching credentials from California State University, Fullerton.