'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


Gaia hypothesis

Around the time of writing The Pyramid, Golding became friends with James Lovelock who also lived in Bowerchalke, Wiltshire. Lovelock’s theory, the Gaia hypothesis, argues that the […]

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Evie Babbacombe

Evie is introduced by Oliver in The Pyramid as a member of a lower class group – she ‘came from the tumbledown cottages of Chandler’s Close’. […]

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William Golding’s Early Life

William Golding was born on 19th September, 1911, at his grandparents’ house in Newquay, Cornwall. The house, called Karenza – Cornish for ‘love’ – was aptly named […]