This study of the work of William Golding focuses on Golding's language and symbolism, establishing the 1983 Nobel Prize winner as a modern allegorist in the tradition of Hawthorne, Melville, and Conrad. Informed by the critical theories of Edwin Honig and Angus Fletcher, Dickson's is an allegorical analysis of Golding's work and provides critical studies to include nine of his novels. From the somber (""Lord of the Flies"") to the comic (""The Paper Men""), Dickson finds integral to all the novels the motif of the quest into the nature of good and evil. Central themes include the importance of human compassion and the conflict between the humanistic and the scientific, between culture and technology, and between the spiritual and the rational. Dickson draws on his own correspondence with Golding as well as on a personal interview with the author to support his convincing conclusions regarding the meaning of Golding's work, and he makes effective use of Golding's nonfiction to reinforce his argument.