Physical setting

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is set in an imaginary future. However, the way the boys speak, their education, and the technologies they are aware of, suggest that the story is supposed to take place in an era approximately contemporary to the time of its writing – the early 1950s. A few details suggest that the wider context is a fictional World War III. When the boys came to the island, they were apparently being evacuated from the UK during a period of nuclear warfare: “ ‘Didn’t you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb? They’re all dead.’ ” (p. 9)

When the boys’ evacuation plane is shot down, they land on an uninhabited tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. The island has sandy beaches and a lagoon on one side, and steep c...

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