Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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

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William Golding's personal life experiences were the thread that pulled together the themes of inherent human evil, the rules of civilization, and boyhood impulse in his novel Lord of the Flies. Walking in his father’s footsteps, William Golding began a career in education as a schoolmaster. Because of this, he was consistently around children and understood, both in his childhood and adult life, the patterns of how children behave and think.

Furthermore, Golding’s career was interrupted in 1940 at the outbreak of World War II when he served in the British Royal Navy with active duty in the North Atlantic. Golding was exposed to the reality of society breaking down and reducing itself to savagery. His time in the war provided him with direct knowledge of a young mind dealing with the impact of violence and savagery.

Also interesting to note is the fact that Golding’s mother was active in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. This may have provided William Golding with a context of growing...

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