Lord of the Boys

The author, William Golding, was hounded by a strong sense of class-consciousness throughout his life. The son of a public school teacher, he grew up in a lower middle class neighbourhood, where he had to walk past a private boys’ school each day on his way to school. According to his biographer, John Carey, “That feeling was like a wound.”

Even after going up to Oxford, that same sense of envy stayed with Golding; the university was chock full of wealthy young gentlemen—students just like the boys from that  private boys’ school. During a particularly painful interview, an Oxford master described him as, “not quite a gentleman.”

Golding survived, of course, and after serving in the Royal Navy during World War 2, he wrote a number of novels, with “Lord of the Flies” widely recognized as his masterpiece. But his work is dark, and I can’t help but wonder how life might have been different if that boys’ school had made room for a public school teacher’s son. I wonder, too, about the boy who walks by Lonsdale Road these days and looks up at the Rogers’ Clock Tower with something less than awe.


One thought on “Lord of the Boys

  1. Pingback: Me :-)

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