Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How did William Golding's life experiences influence the novel Lord of the Flies?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,925 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

As an opening caveat, we must exercise caution in applying biographical information to a reading of a novel.

That being said, as other answers have mentioned, Golding's experiences as a schoolteacher at Bishop Wordsworth's school gave him exposure to the attitudes of young English boys. He experimented at the school with dividing his students into "gangs" that would fight over a "prehistoric" camp, an experience which probably influenced and informed his writing of Lord of the Flies.

Golding also exhibited a degree of honesty in describing his personal life, which spills over into his honest depiction of the darker drives and desires described in his novel. He admitted he could be a bully as a child and wrote in an unpublished memoir of attempting to rape a 15-year-old girl.

As a young child, Golding lived in a coastal town, Newquay, in Cornwall, which, though in a colder climate, may well have influenced his idyllic descriptions of the beach where the boys land.

Golding also lived through...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 847 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

karaovercamp eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write4 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,734 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,189 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial