William Golding, fully Sir William Gerald Golding

Golding, fully Sir William Gerald Golding

British Novelist, Playwright and Poet best known for his novel Lord of the Flies, awarded Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize

Author Quotes

The Navy's a very gentlemanly business. You fire at the horizon to sink a ship and then you pull people out of the water and say, 'Frightfully sorry, old chap.'

There isn?t anyone to help you. Only me. And I?m the Beast... Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!... You knew, didn?t you? I?m part of you? Close, close, close! I?m the reason why it?s no go? Why things are the way they are?

Together, joined in effort by the burden, they staggered up the last steep of the mountain. Together, they chanted One! Two! Three! and crashed the log on to the great pile. Then they stepped back, laughing with triumphant pleasure...

We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything.

You want a pig," said Roger, "like in a real hunt." "Or someone to pretend," said Jack. "You could get someone to dress up as a pig and then he could act ? you know, pretend to knock me over and all that ?" "You want a real pig," said Robert, still caressing his rump, "because you've got to kill him." "Use a littlun," said Jack, and everybody laughed.

The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers... Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.

The overall intention may be stated simply enough. Before the second world war I believed in the perfectibility of social man.... but after the war I did not because I was unable to. I had discovered what one man could do to another... I must say that anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head... I am thinking of the vileness beyond all words that went on, year after year, in the totalitarian states. It is bad enough to say that so many Jews were exterminated in this way and that, so many people liquidated - lovely, elegant word - but there were things done during that period from which I still have to avert my mind less I should be physically sick. They were not done by the headhunters of New Guinea or by some primitive tribe in the Amazon. They were done, skillfully, coldly, by educated men, doctors, lawyers, by men with a tradition of civilization behind them, to beings of their own kind.

There was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he [Roger] dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life.

Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars.

What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others.

You?re a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief!

The chant was audible but at that distance still wordless. Behind Jack walked the twins, carrying a great stake on their shoulders. The gutted carcass of a pig swung from the stake, swinging heavily as the twins toiled over the uneven ground. The pig's head hung down with gaping neck and seemed to search for something on the ground. At last the words of the chant floated up to them, across the bowl of blackened wood and ashes. "Kill the pig! Cut her throat! Spill the blood!" Yet as the words became audible, the procession reached the steepest part of the mountain, and in a minute or two the chant had died away.

The pile of guts was a black blob of flies that buzzed like a saw. After a while these flies found Simon. Gorged, they alighted by his runnels of sweat and drank. They tickled under his nostrils and played leapfrog on his thighs. They were black and iridescent green and without number; and in front of Simon, the Lord of the Flies hung on his stick and grinned. At last Simon gave up and looked back; saw the white teeth and dim eyes, the blood?and his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition.

There was something dark...fumbling along....The creature was a party of boys, marching approximately in... two parallel lines...

Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination. I suggest there is a simple test we can apply. We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?

What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?

You?re no good on a job like this.

The chief led then, trotting steadily, exulting in his achievement. He was a chief now in truth; and he made stabbing motions with his spear. From his left hand dangled Piggy?s broken glasses.

The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, travelled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went. The rock bounded twice and was lost in the forest. Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across that square, red rock in the sea. His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig's after it has been killed. Then the sea breathed again in a long, slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone.

There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.

We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They'll come when they hear us?" He beamed at Ralph. "That was what you meant, didn't you? That's why you got the conch out of the water."

What could be safer than the bus center with its lamps and wheels?

You?ve got your small fire all right.

The conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.

The rules!" shouted Ralph, "you're breaking the rules!" "Who cares?" Ralph summoned his wits.

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Golding, fully Sir William Gerald Golding
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British Novelist, Playwright and Poet best known for his novel Lord of the Flies, awarded Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize