Well Jacob I agree on that point, though bare in mind Golding's comments which I objected to were not a note on the original manuscript, but something he personally added to his reading of the audio book which i believe he recorded in 2004 as marking the 50th aniversery of the original publication of Lord of the Flies. So, really he should know better or have changed his views by now.

Regarding assumptions, well I do think it's a mistake in a lot of ways to follow the literary theory path and try to read into books assumptions that aren't there to begin with. For example, the Hunger Games society does feature as one of it's twelve districts district eleven, the agricultural district all of the population of which are dark skinned and who are harshly treated by the over all authority (more harshly than in Catness district twelve). I could imagine someone ultra sensative to racial issues objecting to this practice and claiming that Colins in some way endorced the idea that dark skinned people were only fit for such simple, meanial work, ---- however such an assumption is never made in the book, the oppression of people in district eleven is just as much abhored as the oppression of any other group and there isn't particularly any distinction or assumptions made of the intelligence, compassion or any other features of characters from district eleven at all.

Likewise, had Golding not! given such an explanation, I'd never have assumed anything gender related about Lord of the Flies at all, since with characters who are all boys there would be no gender issues. yes, the author might have had! assumptions to begin with but those aren't carried out in his work.

It's sort of the difference between Lord of the Rings, where Tolkien freely explained that the reason he had no female members of the fellowship was simply that he viewed it like an expedition to the north pole, and at the time he wrote the book it was simply not a possibility to take women on such an expedition. And Robert Jordan's wheel of Time, where he actively has the cosmology of the world split into male and female magic power and where all male or female characters tend to act in a very specific way according to their gender.

I can quite happily read books written in times when over all background assumptions were different and not object since the author was writing them in their own cultural context, however it's when authors explicitly state! sexist, racist, homophobic or other objectionable views and indorce them in the creation of their world or characters that I tend to be a little bothered.

As another example, much as I greatly admire C S Lewis, I can't get past the fact that his only portrayal of a gay character is Miss Hardcastle in his third space trilogy novel, That Hidious Strength, who is portrayed as a sadistic and domineering s/xual predator and explicitly aligned with evil expressly because! of her being a lesbian. I also dislike his assumption of gender in the roll of cosmology or theology.

While this doesn't stop me enjoying much else in his workand considdering it both important and valuable, I can't deny the man had some majorly wrong headed assumptions, and indeed That Hidious Strength is a little spoilt because of them, (I much prefer the first two books of the space trilogy which simply involve other planets mythology and theology).

Then again suggesting as some people have that The White Witch in Narnia was a Lesbian seems waaaaaay! over board, the White Witch was a sorceress and a witch, end of story laugh.

Then again of Lewis most contravertial statement about gender and the one which has got him into most trouble, his statement in The Last Battle that "susan was only interested in nylons and clothes and invitations" I tend to think sympathetically not that this was implying that Susan shouldn't! have grown up into a woman (as indeed Jk Rowling has argued), after all he freely had a lot of grown up female characters in similar books and was quite okay with the idea of mariage and relationships, as per aravis in Horse and his boy, but that Susan's interest in such things to the exclusion of everything else was wrong (something which is confirmed by Polly who says "she runs to the silliest age of her life and will spend the rest of her life trying to remain there"

Again, taking what the author says! not assuming what he says.

Actually all of this sort of speculation does rather make me want to begin on my attempts at fiction again, it's always something I wanted to do, but haven't tried for quite a few years.