William Golding - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of William Golding, author of The Lord of the Flies
William Golding   (1911 - 1993)
Category:  English Literature
Born:  September 19, 1911
Cornwall, England
Died:  June 19, 1993
Wiltshire, England
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William Golding - LIFE STORIES
9/17/1954     Golding's "Jolly Good Show"
On this day in 1954 William Golding's first novel, The Lord of the Flies, was published. It was rejected by twenty-one publishers and poorly reviewed, but by the 60s it was a cult novel and a career-maker. If it confirms Golding's view that "man produces evil as a bee produces honey," it is not the whole story: "I am a universal pessimist but a cosmic optimist," he said in his Nobel Acceptance Speech.
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Lord of the Flies
Three Novels: Pincher Martin, Free Fall, the Inheritors
anthology, fiction
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The Coral Island
by R. M. Ballantyne
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 Lesson Plans Library
Find an extensive lesson plan for Lord of the Flies which includes classroom activities and topics for discussion, a vocabulary list, and suggested assignments.

"On a literal level, Lord of the Flies deals with what happens to a group of boys stranded on an island with no adult supervision. ... On a symbolic level, Lord of the Flies investigates what happens to civilized people when the structures of civilization disappear."
Guardian Unlimited
Find biographical information about the author's life and accomplishments, and four articles from the pages of the Guardian, including the author's obituary, a review of The Inheritors, and Golding's reflections on fame, piracy and bibliographers.

"Whatever the complications added by adult Golding's ideas about original sin ('I've been rather lumbered with original sin' he said to Carey), it is the imaginative adolescent who has the major hand in the two great novels, Lord of the Flies and Rites of Passage. They are Stevenson and Melville turned to horror, and in them the political, social, theolgical concerns at the back of Golding's work are perfectly fused with the narrative. The two masterpieces, can be and are read as adventure stories first of all, without immediate reference to the wider implications of what happens in them. They offer what Anthony Storr calls intimations of mystery, but they are also the work of a writer with a marvellous, almost Victorian mastery of romantic narrative."
Lord of the Flies
This website for students offers a detailed summary of each chapter, short analysis of symbols and themes, character sketches, a map of the island, vocabulary list, and discussion forum.

"One of the most basic and obvious themes is that society holds everyone together, and without these conditions, our ideals, values, and the basics of right and wrong are lost. Without society's rigid rules, anarchy and savagery can come to light. Golding is also showing that morals come directly from our surroundings, and if there is no civilization around us, we will lose these values."
William Golding
Offers a biography, photographs, quotes, background information about the author's works, and resources for students and teachers.

"Quite apart from his obvious achievements as a writer, it is worth pointing out the vast range and diversity of the subject matter of his novels, and the challenge he set himself. Perhaps his greatest achievement is to have lived through the most terrible and inhumane of centuries, and to have left behind a body of work that can be said to reflect much of the horror of that time as well as an understanding of it."
William Golding, 1983 Nobel Prize in Literature
Golding was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today." Visit the official Nobel website for an author biography, Golding's Nobel Lecture, an educational game based on The Lord of the Flies, and other resources.
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February 19, 2018
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