William Golding's thesis of evil on the basis of "Lord of the Flies" as a reflection of the 1950's and Thomas Hobbes

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On the following pages the novel "Lord of the Flies" and the 1950's in Britain will be discussed.

The introduction will exclusively deal with the novel of William Golding and the author himself. The general information includes of course a summary, a portrait of the author, the island setting of the novel and a characterisation of the characters that are of importance because of they are political symbols and very important throughout the novel.

The main part introduces the 1950's in Britain with a historical survey that includes the Suez Crisis because the crisis will be discussed in one of the central themes, too.

The three central themes in the main part are how the boys on the island refer to their old school system, how the theory of the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes can be compared to the ideas of the "Lord of the Flies" author William Golding and some examples from the history of the 1950's will be related to William Golding's idea of the evil in man. The idea to comprise Thomas Hobbes is from the politic class where we discussed Thommas Hobbes and specifically his idea of man. While reading Lord of the Flies and some recensions I often remembered this ideas.

The conclusion is a personal statement and a short analysis of how realistic and comprehensible the individual topics were.


The author "William Golding" - a short biography

William Golding was born on Sept. 19, 1911 in Cornwall (in the following compare MSN Encarta). He was a British novelist who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983. In school he was already fascinated with language but not very skilled at mathematical studies.

Golding attended the Oxford University and planned to complete a degree in the natural sciences because his parents wanted him to do so. But he soon switched to English which fit more to his "temperament and ambition to write". His first book, a volume of poems was published before he earned his bachelor's degree at Oxford, as well as a diploma in education. Indeed Golding continued to write but he also started a career as a social worker, acted and produced plays for a small London theatre. In 1939 Golding married Ann Brookfield and embarked upon a teaching career.

But by the outbreak of World War II Golding had to join the Royal Navy although he had just begun his work as an English and philosophy teacher at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. Golding served on different battleships until he became the commander of a rocket firing ship. When the war ended Golding reassumed teaching and began to write again.

The 1954 the publication of "Lord of the Flies" in England was his first success. In 1959 the book became a success in the USA, too and it is considered one of the great works of 20th-century literature. Just like in "Lord of the Flies", the good and evil in human nature is the central theme in Golding's other novels (e.g. "The Inheritors" (1955) and "Pincher Martin" (1956)), too.

Sir William Gerald Golding died on June 13, 1933.


(In the following compare MSN Encarta)

The story of "Lord of the Flies" takes place on a Pacific Island during a nuclear war. An evacuated group of english schoolboys gets downed in their plane due to warfare and no adults survive the plane crash. First of all the boys are able to accomplish the loss of civilization because the island offers enough water, fruits, wild pigs and even the chance of rescue. One of the boys, called Ralph, blows the conch which he finds in a lagoon to call up the other boys who have survived. The conch is a criteria for the others to select Ralph as their leader.

The boys build up a signal fire under Ralph's direction; they collect food and water, go hunting and organize themselves into a new society which is abutted to the regiment life of school. For Ralph the main objective is to be rescued from the island but for Jack, who is jealous of Ralph because he wants to be the chief, the...
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