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Major Works Data Sheet
by Yerim Jee, Shaleen Singha, Judith Suzuki (Band 8)
Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Date of Publication: 1954
Genre: Adventure; allegory; social criticism
Historical information about the period of publications:
When this novel was published in 1954, it was about 9 years after World War II had ended. Therefore, during this period of time, Americans were getting used to the times after the war, which had increases in industries and population. When the boys crash into the island in a plane evacuating them from Britain, they are in the midst of a nuclear war during World War II. Biographical information about the author:

William Golding was born in Cornwall, England in 1911. Golding graduated from Oxford University in 1935 and became a schoolmaster. One of the major influences that led him to write Lord of the Flies was his service in the Navy during World War II. Golding participated in the sinking of the Bismarck and the D-Day invasion in France.  Characteristics of the genre:

Lord of the Flies is an allegory in that it uses many symbols to present ideas or themes that the author wants to convey. This genre can be described as an extended metaphor, where different objects in the book are symbolic representations of different ideas that are mainly focused on criticism of society. This novel can be also described as an adventure; the boys in the island have an adventure by exploring different parts of the island. However, this adventure that the boys experience has a deeper or subtle meaning, which ties into the fact that this novel is also an allegory.  Plot Summary:

The novel starts with a plane crash in a deserted tropical island in the Pacific. The boys that survive are group of schoolboys that were evacuating Britain away from the ongoing war. Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy, discover a conch and this is used to call the other boys for a meeting. During this meeting, the boys organize themselves by voting Ralph as the leader. Ralph then appoints Jack as the leader of the choirboys who will hunt food. As a leader, Ralph tells the boys to maintain a smoke signal to alert any ships near the island for their rescue. Although initially the boys get along with each other, Ralph and Jack clash as Ralph insists on maintaining the smoke signal and building huts for shelter while Jack is preoccupied with hunting. The supposed “order” weakens as one of the younger boys mentions about a monster, or a “beast” which lives on the island. Not long after the mention of the “beast”, a dead parachutist falls down to the island and is mistaken as the beast. This stimulates the boys to organize a hunting expedition to find the beast. During this mission, Jack and Ralph clash once more. However, this time, Jack calls Ralph a coward and declares himself as a leader of the new tribe of hunters. The tribe then hunts down a sow in celebration of the occasion and puts the head of the sow on a stick as an offering to the beast. (This head later tells one of the boys, Simon, that the beast does not actually exist in the island, but rather within themselves.) Next day, Ralph and his group travel to Castle Rock, where Jack and his tribe stay, to confront them about their stealing of Piggy’s glasses. During this confrontation, Piggy is killed. Next morning, the tribe decides to hunt down Ralph, who runs away from the tribe by hiding around the forest in the island. The tribe sets fire to the forest to capture Ralph; however, this fire is noticed by an approaching naval ship which comes to the island and rescues Ralph and the other boys from the island. The Author’s Style:

The author’s style was heavily influenced by the horrific sights he saw during World War 2. The story tells the story of young boy who slowly turn into savages when they discover that they are marooned on an island. The boys splinter off into two groups, one which works together peacefully and the second which thrive off of anarchy...
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