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An investigation into the background of William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies' with primary footage and close textual analysis. The commentary runs alongside flickering black and white images of air raid sirens and explosions to create a sense of what life was like for the evacuee protagonists of Golding's novel. Golding's inspiration for the novel is explored, taking us back to his own childhood literary fantasies based upon R. M. Valentine's 'Coral Island'. Working as a teacher at a public boys' school soon opened Golding’s eyes to adolescent boys' behaviour and therefore formed the basis of the novel. The narrator also comments upon symbolism in the novel and its experimental nature.
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First broadcast:
16 January 2008

Classroom Ideas

Students can explore Golding's statement quoted in the clip that, "The theme of 'Lord of the Flies' is grief, sheer grief, grief, grief, grief". Students can work in pairs and are given a pyramid template on a large sheet of plain paper. The pyramid is split into blocks. Written in the single block at the top of the pyramid is the quote from Golding. Students fill the next row or two with ideas which link to this statement, shown in the clip. As students work their way down the rows of the pyramid, they must now use the novel, to find more and more evidence which supports Golding's statement. Students then fill the space around the pyramid, with increasingly abstract or adventurous links to this theme in the novel. Students team up with other pairs in the room, to 'share and compare' their ideas.

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