The trouble was, if you were a chief you had to think, you had to be wise.
A single drop of water that had escaped Piggy's fingers now flashed on the delicate curve like a star.
The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble...
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.
They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate.
If faces were different when lit from above or below -- what was a face? What was anything?
This is our island. It's a good island. Until the grownups come to fetch us we'll have fun.
Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.
We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.
We're not savages. We're English.
Percival was mouse-coloured and had not been very attractive even to his mother.
We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything.
Ralph...would treat the day's decisions as though he were playing chess. The only trouble was that he would never be a very good chess player.
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?
The beast was harmless and horrible; and the news must reach the others as soon as possible.
What did it mean? A stick sharpened at both ends. What was there in that?
The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.
Which is better--to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?
The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers... Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.
You'll get back to where you came from
The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock.
The greatest ideas are the simplest.
The mask was a thing on it's own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-conciousness.
The skull regarded Ralph like one who knows all the answers but won't tell.
The thing is - fear can't hurt you any more than a dream.
Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western World. Simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence.
He was as fitted to survival in this modern world as a tapeworm in an intestine.
He who rides the sea of the Nile must have sails woven of patience.
Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination. I suggest there is a simple test we can apply.... We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, 'How would I myself live in this proposed society How long would it be before I went stark staring mad'
To be in a world which is a hell, to be of that world and neither to believe in or guess at anything but that world is not merely hell but the only possible damnation the act of a man damning himself. It may be -- I hope it is -- redemption to guess and perhaps perceive that the universe, the hell which we see for all its beauty, vastness, majesty, is only part of a whole which is quite unimaginable.
Sleep is when all the unsorted stuff comes flying out as from a dustbin upset in a high wind.
Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.
Language fits over experience like a straight-jacket.
Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if, at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle, he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.
My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.
The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.
What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others.
Among the virtues and vices that make up the British character, we have one vice, at least, that Americans ought to view with sympathy. For they appear to be the only people who share it with us. I mean our worship of the antique. I do not refer to beauty or even historical association. I refer to age, to a quantity of years.
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.
Childhood is a disease - a sickness that you grow out of.
More William Golding Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Wisdom & Knowledge - World - English - Life - Communism & Marxism - Mothers - Books - Memory - Age - Imagination & Visualization - Vice & Virtue - Flowers - Quantity - Dreams - Nature - Characters - Metaphor & Analogy - Animals - View All William Golding Quotations
More William Golding Quotations (By Book Titles)
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