||They were both red in the face and found looking at each other difficult.
Ralph rolled on his stomach and began to play with the grass.
"If it rains like when we dropped in we'll need shelters all right.
And then another thing. We need shelters because of the--"
He paused for a moment and they pushed their anger away. Then he went
on with the safe, changed subject.
"You've noticed, haven't you?"
Jack put down his spear and squatted.
"Well. They're frightened."
He rolled over and peered into Jack's fierce, dirty face.
"I mean the way things are. They dream. You can hear 'em. Have you been
awake at night?"
Jack shook his head.
"They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others. As if--"
"As if it wasn't a good island."
Astonished at the interruption, they looked up at Simon's serious face.
"As if," said Simon, "the beastie, the beastie or the snake-thing was
--from Lord of the Flies
William Gerald Golding, b. Cornwall, Sept. 19, 1911
[d. 1993], is a prominent English novelist, an essayist and poet, and winner
of the 1983 Nobel Prize for literature. Golding's often allegorical fiction
makes broad use of allusions to classical literature, mythology, and Christian
symbolism. Although no distinct thread unites his novels and his technique
varies, Golding deals principally with evil and emerges with what has been
characterized as a kind of dark optimism.
Golding's first novel, Lord of the Flies (1954; film, 1963),
introduced one of the recurrent themes of his fiction--the conflict between
humanity's innate barbarism and the civilizing influence of reason. The
(1955) reaches into prehistory, advancing the thesis that humankind's evolutionary
ancestors, "the fire-builders," triumphed over a gentler race as much by
violence and deceit as by natural superiority. In Pincher Martin
(1956) and Free Fall (1959), Golding explores fundamental problems
of existence, such as survival and human freedom, using dreamlike narratives
and flashbacks. The Spire (1964) is an allegory concerning the hero's
obsessive determination to build a great cathedral spire regardless of
the consequences. Golding's later novels have not won the praise his earlier
works achieved. They include Darkness Visible (1979) and the historical
trilogy Rites of Passage (1981),
Close Quarters (1987), and
Down Below (1989).
Golding studied English literature and philosophy at Oxford, served
in the Royal Navy during World War II, and has been a schoolmaster and
lecturer. In addition to his novels, he has published a play, The Brass
Butterfly (1958); a book of verse, Poems (1934); and the essay
collections The Hot Gates (1965) and A Moving Target (1982).
Bibliography: Baker, J.R., ed., Critical Essays on William Golding
(1988); Biles, Jack I., and Evans, Robert O., eds., William Golding:
Some Critical Considerations (1978); Boyd, S.J., The Novels of William
Golding (1988); Carey, John, ed., William Golding: The Man and His
Books (1987); Dick, Bernard F., William Golding, rev. ed. (1987);
Johnston, Arnold, Of Earth and Darkness: The Novels of William Golding
(1980); Kinkead-Weeks, Mark, and Gregor, Ian, William Golding: A Critical
Study, 2d ed. (1984); Redpath, Philip, William Golding: A Structural
Reading of His Fiction (1986); Tiger, Virginia, William Golding
Text Copyright © 1993 Grolier Incorporated