Word Frequency and Tendencies of William Golding


For this module, I chose to do a text analysis on two works of the author Willaim Golding. I was able to make this anaysis by uploading text files to the tool Voyant, which ran an analysis to find patterns in the words and phrases used. This webpage shows what I was able to find.


William Golding was a British author who published most of his books in the late 1900s, most famous for his work Lord of the Flies. This was his first work, and he went on to write several more novels in the years to come. Using text analysis of two of his books, Lord of the Flies and Rites of Passage, we can see how his early writing developed over a period of about 26 years, along with any trends that he tends to follow. To do this, we can look at his most frequently used words in each of the books, as presented below by these word clouds.

Word Cloud of the book Lord of the Flies Word Cloud of the book Rites of Passage

As we can see, in the book Lord of the Flies, the most common words are the names of the characters, while in Goldings later work Rites of Passage, the most common words are titles that the characters are addressed by. This shows a constant trend that Golding has of addressing the characters and keeping them as a constant center of attention throughout the plot of his novels. This kind of trend also indicates that there is a large amount of dialogue between the characters, as he would have to distinguish between each person speaking.

Graph of word frequency in Lord of the Flies Graph of word frequency in Rites of Passage

We can also see from the graphs shown above that the most common word is the name of or title referencing the main character. As each book is broken into ten separate parts, the graphs show the trends of word frequency spread throughout the novels. We can see a common trend of the most popular word having significantly larger gaps than the other words have. This large gap can help solidify the importance of the character, based on how much more they are referenced in the text.



Golding, William, 1911-1993. Lord of the Flies. New York :Perigee, 1954.

Golding, William. Rites of Passage. London: Faber & Faber, 1988. Text.