Analysis

Born in Cornwall, England, in 1911, William Gerald Golding grew up to become one of the most celebrated British authors of the twentieth century. Best known for his classic novel Lord of the Flies, Golding earned a Booker Prize, a knighthood, and the 1983 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. Written primarily in the devastating aftermath of World War II, Golding’s literary contributions are notable and unflinching examinations of mankind’s eternal struggle between order and chaos, civilization and barbarism, and good and evil.

William Golding’s father was a science professor at Marlborough Grammar School, while his mother was a participant in the women’s suffrage movement. Brought up by educated parents, Golding spent part of his childhood being educated in his father’s own school. Even at a young age, Golding was interested in writing; he first attempted to write a novel at the age of twelve. Though his parents hoped that he would one day become a scientist, Golding studied science for only two years at Oxford University before switching over to English literature. Golding’s first work, a book of poetry titled Poems, was published shortly before his graduation from Oxford. After graduating in 1935, Golding spent a few years acting and directing for various theater companies. He then took a post teaching English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Wiltshire. Golding’s years spent teaching young British schoolboys helped inspire his famous novel Lord of the Flies. In 1939, Golding married a chemist named Anne Brookfield, with whom he would go on to have two children. Despite his passion for teaching, Golding joined the Royal Navy shortly after the beginning of World War II.

While in the Royal Navy, Golding was involved in several battles, including the chase and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. He was also commander of a landing ship during the...

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