William Golding

By K. Lee
  • Birth

    "William Gerald Golding was born in Cornwall, England" (cliffnotes.com). His mother supported the British suffragette movement, while his father advocated rationalism (cliffnotes.com) and "worked as a schoolmaster" (biography.com).
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    Golding attended Brasenose College located at Oxford University (biography.com).
    During his time at college, he studied science, but later studied literature which was his main interest (cliffnotes.com).
    Before he graduated, he published his first book of poetry: "Poems" (biography.com). "While still at Oxford, a volume of Golding's poems was published as part of Macmillan's Contemporary Poets series" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Teaching

    After college, Golding began to teach "English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury" (biography.com). During his time at the school, he experienced "unruly young boys [that] would later serve as inspiration for his novel Lord of the Flies" (biography.com).
  • Graduation

    Golding "graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a diploma in education" (cliffnotes.com).
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    Paying Bills

    Golding went to London to work "as a worker, actor, and producer with a theater..." (cliffnotes.com). He was able to pay his bills as a social worker (cliffnotes.com). Theater was "his strongest literary influence, citing Greek tragedians and Shakespeare..." (cliffnotes.com).
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    World War II

    During World War II, Lieutenant Golding "fought battleships at the sinking of the Bismarck..." (biography.com). He even was appointed commander of a "rocket-launching craft" (biography.com).
    "Like his teaching experience, Golding's participation in the war would prove to be fruitful material for his fiction" (biography.com).
    After the war, Golding returned to writing and teaching (biography.com).
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    Royal Navy

    "Golding spent the better part of the next six years on a boat,..." where he "developed a lifelong romance with sailing and the sea" (biography.com). It also helped him to develop a certain content that "comes back to the problem of evil, the conflict between reason's civilizing influence, and mankind's innate desire for domination" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    "Golding published his first and most acclaimed novel, Lord of the Flies" (biography.com). In Lord of the Flies, Golding "combined [the] perception of humanity with his years of experience with schoolboys" (cliffnotes.com). After his first book about revealing the savage appearance of human nature, this would then set the tone for his future books (biography.com). Lord of the Flies was "widely regarded as a classic" and was "worthy...discussion in classrooms around the world" (biography.com).
  • The Inheritors

    The Inheritors
    The Inheritors was published write after the Lord of the Flies (cliffnotes.com). This book is "a depiction of how violent, deceitful Homo sapiens achieved victory over the gentler Neanderthals" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Award

    After the publication of the Lord of the Flies, "Golding was granted membership in the Royal Society of Literature" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Pincher Martin

    Pincher Martin
    This book like Lord of the Flies is written about the survival after a shipwreck (cliffnotes.com). During World War II, Christopher Martin is thrown into another ship (cliffnotes.com). "The rest of the story is related from this vantage point, detailing his struggle for survival and recounting the details of his life" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Free Fall

    Free Fall
    In Free Fall, "Golding uses the flashback technique" (cliffnotes.com). It is told in first person by Samuel Mountjoy where he uses Mountjoy "to comment on the conflict between rationalism and faith" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Retirement

    "Golding retired from teaching" and Lord of the Flies was made into a film by Peter Brook (biography.com).
  • The Spire

    The Spire
    This "novel tells the story of the human costs of the spire's construction and the lesson that the Dean [of Barchester Cathedral] learns too late" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Award

    Golding "received the honorary designation Commander of the British Empire (CBE)" (cliffnotes.com).
  • The Pyramid

    The Pyramid
    The novel uses the structure of a sonata to portray the main issue which is music (cliffnotes.com). It "provides an examination of English social class within the context of a town ironically named Stilbourne" (cliffnotes.com).
  • The Scorpion God: Three Short Novels

    The Scorpion God: Three Short Novels
    Each novel gives insight to the "negative repercussions of technological progress" (cliffnotes.com). One novel was originally published in 1956 and then turned into a comedic play: The Brass Butterfly (cliffnotes.com).
  • Darkness Visible

    Darkness Visible
    The novel stresses between good and evil (cliffnotes.com). A kidnap happens and the protagonist, Matty "gives his life to prevent it" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Rites of Passage

    Rites of Passage
    "Rites of Passage won the Booker Prize, a prestigious British award" (cliffnotes.com). It was considered one of Golding's most successful novel (biography.com).
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    The Sea Trilogy

    Consists of three novels: Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), Fire Down Below (1989) (cliffnotes.com). All depict the "emotional education and moral growth of an aristocratic young man named Edmund Talbot during an ocean voyage to Australia in 1812" (cliffnotes.com).
  • Nobel Prize

    Nobel Prize
    Golding was 73 years old when he "was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature" (biography.com).
  • The Paper Men

    The Paper Men
    The novel "concerns an elderly novelist trying to elude a young scholar who wants to write his biography" (cliffnotes.com). This was considered his worst work (cliffnotes.com).
  • Knighted

    Golding was invited to England to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (biography.com).
  • The New Film

    The New Film
    "A new film version of the Lord of the Flies was released" (biography.com). This brought the attention to the youth readers of the generation (biography.com).
  • Death

    Golding continued to write in his home near Falmouth, Cornwall (biography.com). Three after the new film, he passed away from a heart attack (biography.com). "After Golding died, [he] completed [a] manuscript for The Double Tongue [which] was published posthumously" (biography.com).
  • Legacy

    Golding's most successful novel in were the Rite of Passage, Pincher Martin, Free Fall and the Pyramid (biography.com). Throughout his writing career, his works were widely ranged. He wrote "poems, plays, essays and short stories" (biography.com).