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William Golding is a British novelist who is famous for his book, Lord of the Flies, published in 1954. This is one of the most acclaimed novels in English literature and one which saw the writer win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983. Besides writing novels, the author was equally talented in crafting short stories that had real-life lessons.
William Golding was born in Cornwall, England in 1911 to Mildred and Alex. He grew up in a 14th-century house just a few meters to a graveyard. His mother was an active defender of women’s rights to vote while his father was a schoolmaster at Marlborough Grammar School. As you can see, his early life already exposed him to what it meant to struggle for other people’s rights as well as the life of a teacher.
Being a brat that he was, Golding spent much of his earlier years bullying his peers. He would, later on, recall his childhood days as “I enjoyed hurting people.” This was quite ironic to the kind of a man he turned out to be – one who wished for global peace and never refrained from using his writing skills to insist on that.
Golding died of a heart attack on June 19, 1993. At the time of his death, he had finished working on his manuscript for The Double Tongue. This was published after his death.
Golding started his education at the school in which his father taught. At just 12 years old, the passion for writing openly displayed in the young and enthusiastic boy. Around this age, he made his first attempt to write a novel.
Once done with primary school, he joined Brasenose College at Oxford University. His father’s vision was that his son would become a scientist. However, Golding applied for English Literature and even published his first work titled Poems before graduating. Critics did not give the collection much attention, much to Golding’s disappointment, but at least it boosted his writing confidence.
Before venturing into writing as a career, Golding had spent a significant amount of his time as a teacher of English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School. Throughout the teaching experienced, he met unruly boys who served as an inspiration for his most notable novel Lord of the Flies. His experience with World War II also played a role in the book’s theme.
Among the most reputable novel publications by the legendary author include Free Fall 1959, Pincher Martin, The Pyramid, and The Double Tongue (published posthumously).
Despite Lord of the Flies much-acclaimed success, it did not have an easy starting. It was rejected 21 times, after which publishers understood the essence of the story. It involved a group of boys who got shot down in a plane. Their pilot dies and they end up in an isolated island with no authority. They had to figure out how to survive, much of which was marred with acts of savagery. Ever since it was published, the novel has been analyzed to greater depths, with each critic ending up with different assertions. One thing that remains constant is that there is a lesson for everybody in this novel.
Lord of the Flies was such a success that Stephen king drew inspiration from it while making the fictional town of Castle Rock in his film. Nigel Williams and Peter Brook are also among respectable names who adapted the text for the stage.