• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Survival as a theme in "The Road" and two other works. Similar to McCarthy, Daniel Defoe and William Golding present the idea of hope governing survival through their respective texts Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies,

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The statement that ?every species is and behaves like it needs to in order to survive? an adversity, is a view Yann Martel, like many other writers and philosophers believe in. To ensure clarity in this essay, ?survival? is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as ?the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal or difficult circumstance?. In this context, ?to live or exist? means the preservation of ones mental state; the sustaining of what makes us humans and not just surviving primarily by instinct in order to fulfill the basic needs of the body. In addition, adversity is the ?difficulties or misfortunes that are an unpleasant circumstance? where one is pushed to their limits, faced with the brink of death. Though the instincts of survival are important as it is the fundamental mechanism for survival, it can be argued, however, that hope as it bequeaths one with the will to live, is the most important aspect taken into consideration when one reasons about survival. Johan Heinrich Pestalozzi, a Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer, clarifies that we will not prioritise survival because our ?higher nature? dominates with the presence of hope. Pestalozzi describes a human being as having two sides, the ?animal nature? and the ?higher nature?, where the former consists of basic instincts that humans and animals have in common which are mainly to satisfy the needs of the body and so preserve the individual and the human race. In order words, it is the desires that give man physical pleasure whereas the later consists of the ability to perceive truth, to show love, ...read more.

Middle

The charred bodies and tattooed skulls, that the protagonists of The Road, ?The Man? and ?The Boy? come across illuminates the degeneration of mankind which has surmounted itself in the scarring of the human body ? nothing is sacred anymore and the Earth has become a place where men eat other men. In essence, humanity has lost its humaneness and civilisation has collapsed. Comparatively, the extinction of ?civilisation? is also seen through the characteristics of Jack Meridew in The Lord of the Flies as he hungers for ?meat? and craving for power, leads the group of boys into anarchy and feels indifferent about the deaths of Simon and Piggy even though he is the leading cause. The ?bad guys? from The Road, enslave the meek, consume their children, and torture and butcher anything that gets in their way; showing degradation into the ?animal nature? as theirs is the domain of survival at any cost, just like Jack. In my opinion, the ?bad guys? do not truly survive as give up their humanity and renounce their ?higher nature?, becoming no different from animals; losing all sense of human qualities and living only based on instinct. In Robinson Crusoe, the lost of ?cavilisation? and humanity is not depicted as there are no ?bad guys?. The reason may be due to the 18th century belief that the human nature is endowed with a innate sense of natural compassion prior to reasoning; hence mankind was though to be naturally good as Jean-Jeacques Rousseau explains in his book ?Discourse on the Moral Effects of Science?, published in 1749. ...read more.

Conclusion

Without hope, there will only be a melancholic future as hope gives men something to fight for, it prevent them from giving up; ?this is what good guys do, they keep trying. They don?t give up?. Lord of the Flies conveys this melancholic world without hope well as when ?civilisation? on the island fails and hope is lost, the savages began to kill and hunt those who do not follow them, including Ralph and Piggy. In opposition to Friedrich Nietzsche who explains that ?hope in reality is the worst of all the evils because it prolongs the torment of men?, hope does not prolong the ?torment? but makes the ?torment? bearable as they have something to live for. The reason why the protagonist we?re able to survive their respective ordeals is because they had hope. Without hope, they would?ve perished like the rest who are in a similar situation. Men, like Robinson Crusoe, are only able to make it through their ordeal solely because they have hope. In conclusion, as Friedrich Nietzsche puts it, ?he who has a why to live can bare almost anyhow?. Hope is the ?why? that enables humans to bear the pangs of adversity. Without hope, we will basically resort back to animals, living based on instinct. It is hope which preserves our humanity and governs the extent we go to in order to survive, illuminating the bleakest of hours. Therefore, with the use of setting, characterisation as well as symbolism, McCarthy, Defoe and Golding has shown the importance of having hope through their respective texts. (2732 words) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Within two weeks, Clifton had gotten married to a woman named Katharine and flown with his new wife to join their party in Cairo. The party, which had consisted of four explorers-Prince Kemal el Dein, Bell, Alm�sy, and Madox-was focused on finding the ancient city of Zerzura, nestled in the Gilf Kebir, a plateau in the Libyan desert.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by ...

    4 star(s)

    and how he sees Alison not recognizing this where Osbourne writes, ?not a flicker from her ? she doesn?t even rumble a little.? This use of language by Osborne to present a relationship representing Jimmy, the main character?s, disillusionment with the world he lives helps shape the meaning of the

  1. Chance, Accident and Coincidence in The Mayor of Casterbridge

    Hardy fits in the character of Farfrae, in opposition to Henchard, for the readers to see the helpless struggle by Henchard to survive. Apparently Farfrae is the apparition of fate itself to bring Henchard down, and as Hardy is very deterministic in Henchard's doom, with all his bad hands in luck, Henchard ultimately dies in vain.

  2. Thrill of the Kill Comparative Essay. Imagine being on a deserted island with ...

    The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering" (Golding, 115). Even Ralph, who is considered to be more mature and civilized than the others, became caught in the thrill of the hunt. This is because in Lord of the Flies, the hunters completely lose their identity and sense of reason when they hunt, relying purely on their instinct.

  1. Lord of the flies comparison

    It is possible to argue that both Oliver and other boys his age such as the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates are also forced into having to govern themselves, as they have to work and provide for themselves at such a young age.

  2. Comment on the writers presentation of loneliness and companionship in the novels The Old ...

    expresses Pi's detailed observation using alliteration and metaphor to attract the attention of the reader to the simplicity of the sloth. Pi's love for nature is immediately compared with his interest in religion as his religious studies on "the cosmogony theory of Isaac Luria" is an important motif as this

  1. Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy present the reality of love.

    In particular, the use of lexis such as ?bleached?, ?marked?, ?mended? and ?coloured? illustrate the imperfect condition in which the love songs are found, mirroring that of the widow?s perception of love that has altered over time. This is shown in Larkin?s portrayal of the widow?s perception of love as

  2. Compare the ways the writers of your texts create a sense of fear in ...

    The painting allows Dorian to stay youthful and attractive, causing him to abandon his morals and experience the freedom that a man with such an attractive, never fading appearance can have. The ?purity of his face? allows him to stay within his social circle above all else and it begins

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work