BORN: September 19, 1911, St. Columb Minor, Cornwall, England
DIED: June 19, 1993, Wiltshire, England
IDENTIFICATION: Internationally acclaimed British novelist and essayist who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983.
SIGNIFICANCE: Written in the aftermath of the destruction and brutality of World War II, William Golding's works often revolve around the tension between reason and barbarism that exists within all humans, the ability of even [civilized] people, when placed in stressful situations, to engage in acts of great inhumanity. His novels also explore broader thematic questions of spirituality and culture, and Goldmg utilized a variety of images from literature, mythology, and religion to create allegorical structures within his fiction to illustrate his chosen themes. Indeed, Golding is considered one of the masters of allegorical fiction. His highly esteemed 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, has taken a place among the more important works of fiction of the twentieth century.