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William Golding (1911-1993) - in full Sir Willam Gerald Golding
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In the gripping story a group of small British boys stranded on a desert island lapse into tribal battles and murder after they have lost all adult guidance. Ironically the adult world is deveasted by nuclear war. The success of the novel allowed Golding to give up teaching. Lord of the Flies was followed by THE INHERITORS (1955), which overturned H.G. Wells's Outline of History (1920) and depicted the extermination of Neanderthal man by Homo Sapiens. Neanderthals are first portrayed compassionate and communal, but they are finally led by example of the Cro-Magnons into sin and selfishness. Lok, the early Neanderthal point-of-view character, is as unrealiable narrator as Tuami, of the "new people." PINCHER MARTIN (1956) was story of a naval officer, Christopher Hadley Martin, who faces death on his torpedoed ship. Much like Ambroce Bierce's 'Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge', the story shows Christopher imagining his survival on a rock island in the middle of the ocean. The FREE FALL (1959) was set in contemporary society, focusing on an ordinary man who looks back over his past. Golding resigned in 1961 from teaching and devoted himself entirely to writing. THE SPERE (1964) was a story about the construction of a cathedral soire. Jocelyn, dean of a cathedral, has decided to erect a 400-foot spire before his death. But its construction causes sacrifice of others, treachery, and murder. From this novel Golding's work devoloped into two directions: the metaphysical with the theme of the fable like fall from childlike innocence into guilt, and the social without mythical substructure. -"...What a noble prospect the ocean is under a low sun! Only when the sun is high does the sea seem to lack the indefinable air of Painted Art which we are able to observe at sunrise and sunset."
--"I am so accustomed to the sight that I do not see it. Indeed, I am grateful - if the phrase is not meaningless in the circumstances - to the oceans for another quality."
--"And that is?"
--"Their power of isolationg a man from his fellows."
(from Rites of Passage, 1980)
Among Golding's later works is the historical trilogy RITES OF PASSAGE (1980), which portayed life abroad an anciet ship of the line at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It was awarded the Booker Prize. Other parts of the trilogy were CLOSE QARTERS (1987) and FIRE DOWN BELOW (1989). Golding's novel THE PAPER MEN (1984) was about the pursuit of world-famous English novelist Wilfred Barclay by American academic Rick L. Turner. Lord of the Flies has been translated into many languages and filmed in 1963 and 1990. It is an ironic comment on R.M.