Lord of the Flies
Are humans born evil?
– Humans are born good. It is the environment that
leads to evil behavior.
– Humans are born either good or evil. This is a
biological gene that is passed on to offspring.
What do you think?
• Born in Cornwall, England on September 19, 1911
• He was a school teacher and a father – knew a lot
about what kids are like
• Officer in the British Navy during World War II
• Witnessed the Holocaust firsthand
• He wrote Lord of the Flies based on his
experiences in World War II and trying to
understand how evil people (Hitler) became
powerful and why people followed him
Writing Lord of the Flies
• It only took Golding 6 weeks to write!
• It was rejected 22 times for being too bleak
• It was eventually published in 1954 and by the
1960’s it became a standard course of study
• Won the Nobel Prize for Tragedy of the Human
Condition in 1983
• Parody: a satire (exposing, irony, sarcasm)
imitation of a serious piece of writing
• Lord of the Flies is a parody of The Coral Island
The Coral Island - 1857
• Story of Ralph, Jack, and Peterkin: three young
English boys who are shipwrecked on a
deserted island in the Pacific.
• They create an idyllic society: they build
houses, make fires, gather fruits, and build
• The boys transform the island into a miniature
How realistic do you think that is?
• If a group of boys are stranded on an island
with no adult supervision, what do you think
William Golding Knew Better…
• Being a school teacher and a father, William
Golding knew that a group of boys left alone
would not be that civilized
• Golding writes Lord of the Flies to show that
given these same conditions, children would
become savages before they acted civilized
– Bildung: Education
– Roman: Book
• A “coming of age” novel: traces the spiritual,
moral, psychological, or social development
and growth of a main character
Symbolism and Allegory
• Symbolism: a person, place, thing or event
that stands for both itself and something
• Allegory: a story in which characters, settings,
and events are symbolic (stand for abstract
ideas or moral qualities)
– Names convey a meaning other than the literal
• The Luftwaffe begins targeting British cities -
An airplane is evacuating British school boys
out of London
• The plane gets shot down and lands on a
• The children gang up for survival
• On a literal level, Lord of the Flies deals with
what happens to a group of boys stranded on
an island with no adult supervision.
• On a symbolic level, Lord of the Flies
investigates what happens to civilized people
when the structures of civilization disappear.
• Good vs. Evil
• Rules and Order
• Savagery vs. Civilization
Lord of the Flies Introduction
• Welcome to Discovery Education Player