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Why did William Golding write "Lord of the Flies"?

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desiwun | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2008 at 5:57 AM via web

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Why did William Golding write "Lord of the Flies"?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2008 at 8:44 AM (Answer #1)

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The main reason he wrote the book was probably due to his having served in the British Navy during World War II.  He saw some horrific events during his time in the Navy including the D-Day landing at Normandy and the sinking of the German battleship, the Bismarck and battles with other ships. After witnessing all that he did, he commented that "man produces evil like bees produce honey."  Since Lord of the Flies is about man's basic evil nature that is only tamed and held in check because of the rules of civilized society, it seems a logical connection to make.  Also, Golding had read the book, Coral Island, which is about three British boys shipwrecked on a deserted island having to fend for themselves and doing so peacefully in an ideal setting.  Golding, after having seen the horrors man inficts upon man, and seeing how even the "good guys" can become savage, decided to use a similar setting only showing the side of people he thought to be the true side. He wanted his boys to act as he thought real boys might act in that situation.

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