WilliamGolding, WWIIand the Cold War23 April 2013
William Golding’s Early Life• Born in England in 1911 (Just before WWI began in Europe)• Mother was a suffragette, father was a schoolmaster
Golding as a Young Adult • Studied science at Oxford before deciding to study literature • Joined the Royal Navy when WWII began
Golding in WWII• Present at the sinking of the Bismarck (Germany’s premiere battleship)• Involved in the invasion of Normandy (D-Day)
Golding as a Writer • Wrote poetry before he wrote fiction • Began writing fiction after returning from WWII • His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was eventually published in 1954
World War II• A global war, fought on all major oceans and in Africa, Asia, and Europe• Almost 60 nations were directly involved.• Most costly war in terms of property damage and military spending• 22 million killed, 34 million wounded, and millions more became refugees
How did it start? Zoom in on Germany. • After WWI, Germany’s democratic government was weak and unstable. • The peace treaty that ended WWI caused the German economy to fail • When the Great Depression hit, hard times became even harder.
Life in Germany was unstable, so…• Many people were willing to trade their democratic freedom for Nazi promises of security and national glory.
When the Nazis came into power… • Government propaganda blamed Germany’s Jewish population for economic hardship • Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, terrorized anyone who opposed him and started to expand the German empire.
After WWII ended, the Cold War began.• As WWII ended, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the U.S. were allies against Germany and Japan. However, cooperation broke down after the war ended and the time came to rebuild Europe.
The U.S. wanted to stop communism, while the USSRwanted to spread communism.• USSR: • U.S.: • Authoritarian government • Democratic government • Communist economic • Capitalist economic system system • Guarantees on civil rights • Limits on civil rights (for certain groups of • Cycles of repression and people) freedom in social and • More freedom in social and cultural life. cultural life
The Cold War was perpetuated through: • Propaganda • Alliances with other countries • Scientific competition • Economic competition • Espionage
Life during the Cold War:• Everyone lived under an uneasy truce• Constant threat of a nuclear world war• Fear of WWIII permeated popular culture, including literature.