'I had a tremendous feeling of thereness and hereness, of separate worlds'.

The Pyramid

Oliver is eighteen, and wants to enjoy himself before going to university. But this is the 1920s, and he lives in Stilbourne, a small English country town, where everyone knows what everyone else is getting up to, and where love, lust and rebellion are closely followed by revenge and embarrassment.

The limitations of the first person narrator are used ironically to point up the cruelties and tragedies of life, which Oliver himself remains unable or unwilling to see – even as an adult. The novel uses music, both thematically and in the formal structure of the novel.

Golding talks about social class – a theme in The Pyramid

Listen to William Golding discussing the English class system

View Judy Golding introducing The Pyramid



During childhood, Golding lived in Marlborough, Wiltshire, in the double-gabled white house at the centre of the picture. His experiences here inspired parts of The Pyramid.

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Music is a major theme in some of Golding’s novels, particularly The Pyramid, but it also plays a minor, but important role in others, including Lord of […]

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Reading The Pyramid

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Golding’s sixth novel, The Pyramid. The Pyramid was Golding’s first attempt at realist fiction, and was something of a […]