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William Golding (1911 - 1993)


William Golding was born in 1911 at Saint Columb Minor in Cornwall. He was educated at the Marlbor- h Grammar School, where his father taught, and en went up to Oxford; here he studied both natural science and English literature. After graduation he worked for a short period as an actor and a writer, and th then he began teaching English. During the Second World War he enlisted in the Roy-al Navy and commanded a small rocket-launching ship Present at both the sinking of the Bismarck, and the D- Day landings in June 1944, Golding was shocked by the violence of the war and the evil he witnessed, both from the enemy and his own side, and soon lost the idea that an innocent nature is the real human characteristic. He came to believe that even children are inherently evil, thus foreshadowing the major idea of his most famous novel, Lord of the Flies. At the end of the war Golding re- turned to teaching English and Philosophy His first novel, Lord of the Flies, came out in 1954. It describes the adventures of British schoolboys who, rapped on an island in the Pacific, fall into barbaric behavior. At first it was rejected by several publishers, but it became a surprise success. Golding's The Inheritors, published the following year, continued to develop along similar lines, namely, the inherent violence which makes up human nature. He later wrote Pincher Martin (1956), and Free Fall (1959). He resigned from teaching in 1961 and devoted himself exclusively to writing. In 1964 he published The Spire (1964), an allegory about the protagonist's obsessive determination to build a cathedral spire. Golding's later novels include The Pyramid (1967), Darkness Visible (1979), and Rites of Passage (1980). This latter novel won the Booker Prize, the most important award in English literature, and inspired two further sequels, Close Quarters (1987) and Fire Down Below (1989). All three novels describe the realities of life aboard a ship during the Napoleonic Wars William Golding died in Cornwall in 1993. He had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today."
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