Lord of the Flies

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Nature or nurture? A question frequently asked but hard to answer or prove. This is where William Golding steps in. He writes a novel about a group of schoolboys stranded on an island, fighting to survive. Instead of acting how they have been taught by society, they turn into a disaster, breaking up into separate groups, having celebrations to hunt pig, and killing each other. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding, inspired by The Coral Island and Paradise Lost, shows the true nature of human beings in a society created by children.

The novel, Lord of the Flies, comes from William Golding’s personal experiences. In 1953, Golding asked his wife, Ann, if she thought it would be a good idea if he wrote a book about the mess boys with no parents would make on an island. She responded that she liked the idea, so Golding sat down and started writing his first novel (Tiger 22). As he started writing this novel, Golding remembered when he had served in the Royal Army during World War II. Those five years taught Golding what humans were actually capable and willing to do. They are also responsible for first interesting him in the evil within humans and barbarism (“Golding”).

Although Golding got many of his themes from what he had witnessed, he also based his plot from a few of his previous readings. Lord of the Flies is considered to be William Golding’s response to R.M. Ballantyne’s, The Coral Island. Like Lord of the Flies, Ballantyne’s novel is based on a group of boys who get shipwrecked and end up stranded on a coral reef island. Although, in The Coral Island the boys make the best of the situation they are in and lead a happy, organized life. Golding calls his novel a “kind of black mass or realistic view of the situation” (Bu...

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... ignoring his other ones. In response to this, Golding wrote the essay “Fable” to answer questions he received constantly (Wood 316). The book also “inspired two films, was translated into 26 languages, sold millions of copies, and became a standard on college and high school reading lists” (Lambert 317). Moreover, Nigel Williams, an actor produced a theatrical adoption from the book. The title of the novel was even used to name the killing or mass murder of children (Tiger 23).

To sum it all up, in Lord of the Flies, William Golding shows that he believes in nature over nurture. Although his novel did receive negative reviews, it turned out to be a very successful novel. Lord of the Flies continues to be famous and studied world-wide.

His wording, themes, realistic views, symbolism and writing overall continue to attract and interest more readers to his writing.
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