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William Golding

Lord of the Flies

Buchbesprechung von Angelika Lerch

About the author

GoldingWilliam Gerald Golding, born in Cornwall, September 19, 1911 [died 1993], is a prominent English novelist, an essayist and poet, and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize for literature. Golding's often allegorical fiction makes broad use of allusions to classical literature, mythology, and Christian symbolism. Although no distinct thread unites his novels and his technique varies, Golding deals principally with evil and emerges with what has been characterized as a kind of dark optimism.

Golding studied English literature and philosophy at Oxford, and served in the Royal Navy during World War II. The war, as a physical result, changed Golding's view of life significantly. Golding couldn't believe in man's innocence any longer. He found that even the children are not innocent. No one is innocent until society and his way of life make him pretend that he's innocent. But sometimes, when a man is facing a difficult situation (e.g., the need to survive) then he will probably show his other nature, the dark and guilty nature.

Golding was a schoolmaster and lecturer. In addition to his novels, he has published a play, The Brass Butterfly (1958); a book of verse, Poems (1934); and the essay collections The Hot Gates (1965) and A Moving Target (1982).

The plot

They were both red in the face and found looking at each other difficult. Ralph rolled on his stomach and began to play with the grass.
"If it rains like when we dropped in we'll need shelters all right. And then another thing. We need shelters because of the--"
He paused for a moment and they pushed their anger away. Then he went on with the safe, changed subject.
"You've noticed, haven't you?"
Jack put down his spear and squatted.
"Noticed what?"
"Well. They're frightened."
He rolled over and peered into Jack's fierce, dirty face.
"I mean the way things are. They dream. You can hear 'em. Have you been awake at night?"
Jack shook his head.
"They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others. As if--"
"As if it wasn't a good island."
Astonished at the interruption, they looked up at Simon's serious face.
"As if," said Simon, "the beastie, the beastie or the snake-thing was real. Remember?"

from: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is a book about some boys at the ages of 10 to 16. These boys survive a planecrash. This plane should bring them away from their homes where they are in danger because of an atomic bomb. So they end up on an island. First there are two boys who meet (Ralph and Piggy). They walk along the beach and talk about the return to their home. But after a time they know that it is impossible to return home. So they continue walking along the beach. Then Ralph sees a shell. It is a silver shell. They try to blow the shell but they donít succeed. After a while one of the boys tries again and a he get the knack of it. The shell makes a loud noise. The boy blows and blows and some other boys come along the beach. They are from the same plane and have also survived.

The boys sit down and discuss the situation. One says that they must have a democratic leadership. First it everything is fine for the group. They enjoy their life on the island. They go swimming and have a lot of fun.

But one day one of the boys begins to crazy. He had that he would go and hunt something to eat. After a while he comes back and tells Piggy to come with him. He shows him a head on a thin peace of wood. It is terrible to look at. First Piggy thinks that it is a Pig but then he realises that the head isnít the head of an animal. It is the head of a dead passenger from the plane. So this boy starts playing his games with the others.

Do you want to know what kind of games they are? Read this book, youíll enjoy it.

My opinion

Well, I think itís a very interesting book about a situation which we wish weíll never happen to us. Itís interesting to see how the different personalities will react in an specific situation. I think this book is really well written. Iím not very good in English but I can say I understood this book quite well. There are some words I didnít know, but it was no problem to understand the whole.

I would also like to say that everyone should read this book. Itís great. Golding wrote this novel in such a good way that everyone is able to read and understand it. Perhaps Iíll read it again in German. So I wonĎt any problems understanding all the words and their often subtle meanings.


Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western World. Simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence.

Sleep is when all the unsorted stuff comes flying out as from a dustbin upset in a high wind.

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.

Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.


A Tribute to William Golding

The Nobel Prize Internet Archive


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