This novel is often characterized as an account of typical adolescent and youthful indiscretions, turbulence and an awakening sense of individuality. It has elements of autobiography, but Golding's aims are more complex. The limitations of his first-person narrator, Oliver, 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 in the story and in the formal structure of the novel. Comedy and pathos are present at the same time; those who attempt to teach Oliver self-knowledge often do so at the cost of their own self-respect or even sanity.
William Golding Limited has established a collaboration with the Centre for South West Writing based at the Streatham and Tremough campuses of the University of Exeter featuring original writing by graduate students. Read 'Reflections of Small Town England in William Golding's The Pyramid' by Ailsa Poll, MA student, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus
John Carey's new biography of William Golding
Drawing almost entirely on materials that have never before been made public, John Carey, the distinguished writer and critic, sheds new light on Golding. Through hundreds of letters, unpublished works and Golding's intimate journals, Carey draws a revelatory and definitive portrait of an extraordinary man. In an absorbing and compelling narrative, he reveals a many-sided figure: a war-hero, a reclusive depressive who considered himself a 'monster', a family man, a victim of fears and phobias who battled against alcoholism, and a writer who trusted the imagination above all things.
Follow the link below to hear 'audio snippets' where Carey reads from his highly praised new biography.
William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies