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Golding: Lord of the Flies

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Nick Groom (University of Exeter) explores William Golding’s 1954 novel, The Lord of the Flies. We begin by thinking about the historical context for the novel, focusing in particular on the state of Britain and Europe in the early to mid-1950s, before moving on in the second module to think about war – considering both Golding’s own experiences in the Second World War (1939-45) and his exploration of authority and leadership in the novel. In the third module, we think about the genre of the novel, before moving on in the fourth module to consider the themes of violence and brutality. After that, in the fifth module, we think about the themes of hunting in the novel, focusing in particular on the literary history of the pig(!), before moving on in the sixth and seventh modules to look more closely at some of the major characters in the novel: Ralph, Simon, Piggy, Jack and Roger. In the eighth module, we think about the symbolism in the novel – thinking in particular about the symbolic setting and symbolic objects (e.g. the conch) – before turning in the ninth and final module to consider Golding’s other works and some of his broader interests as a novelist.

About the Lecturer

Nick Groom is Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter, a critically acclaimed author on subjects ranging from the history of the Union Jack to Thomas Chatterton, has edited several books and regularly appears on television, radio and at literary festivals as an authority on English Literature, the ‘Gothic’ and ‘British’ identity.