Reading & Teaching Guides

The official William Golding website features detailed reading guides for Lord of the Flies, for students, teachers and book clubs. These are very comprehensive and a terrific resource for any reader interested in delving deeper into the novel.

If you have read the book and would like more information, discussion points and further reading suggestions, you can download Faber's Reading Guide [pdf] here.

Here are a few discussion points to get you started:

• William Golding was working as a schoolteacher when he wrote Lord of the Flies. How do you think this affected his characterisation of the boys in the novel?

• There is a constant sense of tension throughout the novel – how does William Golding achieve this, even during scenes that are not pivotal or terrifying per se?

• The physical nature of the island is portrayed as being almost paradise-like. There is plenty of delicious fruit, the sand and sea provides fun for the ‘littluns’ to play in, and even the pigs are never portrayed as being frightening. Do you think Golding has done this to highlight the negative aspects of human nature that the boys reveal on the island? Or simply to create a backdrop that does not distract from the action itself?

• What tactics does Jack use to gain power over the rest of the island, and what tactics does Golding employ to portray this change as effectively as possible?

• How does Golding make the prospect of The Beast terrifying to the reader? What do you think it represents allegorically?