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

What do you consider to be the key message of 'The Spire', and how does Golding present this?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What do you consider to be the key message of 'The Spire', and how does Golding present this? Since Golding is writing about the human condition, there are a great many 'messages' that could be considered. However, a recurring theme that follows Jocelin is that of cost and sacrifice - most particularly, is it worh sacrificing lives in order to achieve something like the spire? The element of cost is one Jocelin keeps returning to, and it plays a large part in his realisations at the end. As a man of faith, sacrifice is clearly a large part of his life. If Jocelin was not the dean, or not a priest at all, he would be unlikely to have such undying faith and willingness to sacrifice for it. Jocelin is the sort of man who can easily become obsessed, and so sometimes the moral implications of what he does do not seem important. What I think Golding is attempting to show is that all elements of an action must be carefully considered before it is carried out. All possible consequences should be thought through and fully accepted. From the very beginning, Golding mentions sacrifice, sometimes in more subtle ways than others. On the first page, a reference is made to 'Abraham and Isaac'. ...read more.

Middle

He tells him of his great-grandfather, who saved the cathedral from burning by carrying out the burning wood in arms 'roasted like pork'. This is a portent of what happens later. Pangall also utters the ominous words 'One day they will kill me'. Jocelin dismisses his worries very quickly, though he does try to talk to Roger and make the men stop. Roger says that Pangall is 'their way' of bringin luck. Jocelin seems to accept this, and in a sense he then condemns Pangall. The workemn are pagans, and Pangall is disables. It could be that in Pangall, Golding has created a parallel to the pagan god Hephaestus, who was impotent and married to Aphrodite. Aphrodite, like Goody, had an affair with another man, and Hephaestus was taunted by the other gods in a similar way to Pangall. In some ways, Pangall's death is the most important event of the novel, though it is not actually made explicit. Jocelin does not know whether Goody consented to the death, and this comes to plague him later. The scene where he is killed is thick with symbolism. The workmen become bestial and animal-like, Goody is shown dishevelled with 'a hand-torn slit' in her dress, possibly to display her adultery. ...read more.

Conclusion

At first he says 'my back...Him. Her. Thou', referring to his consumption, Pangall, Goody and God. He seems to recognise that these things were not worth trading for the spire. In the very last chapter, he exclaims to himself 'I traded a stone hammer for four people'. It does not seem that he is referring to God now. He talks about 'bogus sanctity' to Roger, so it seems he has not lost his faith, but instead believes that he never really had it. He speaks of religion as a 'jewel...to be taken out and worn on feast days'. The 'four people' he refers to could be himself, Pangall, Goody and Roger, because by the end Rover has attempted suicide and his life is ruined. By referring to the spire as a 'stone hammer', Golding is showing how its worth has dramatically decreased when compared to the lives it has cost. Though Golding was a religious man, I consider this novel to be quite critical of Christianity. The message that you should not blindly sacrifice anything for your faith goes against the teaching that God rewards unwavering belief. The story of Abraham and Isaac seems to resonate throughout The Spire, and it can be taken to mean several different things. It seems that one of the many themes and ideas Golding explores in this text is the cost of faith. ...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 William Golding 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 William Golding essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Lord of the Flies, on the surface, may resemble any other children adventure story. ...

    5 star(s)

    The buzzing flies, on the other hand, is meant to be a symbolism of human beings in general. By depicting in details how the flies are instinctively drawn to the filthy and grotesque pig's head, therefore, Golding satirizes the fact that human beings make no difference from the blind and

  2. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can Lord of the Flies be considered a Marxist piece?

    3 star(s)

    Golding is suggesting that the meaning of a text is not always governed by the author, so although he clearly did not intend for "Lord of the Flies" to be a Marxist piece, it could be argued that it has become one.

  1. What does chapter one of "The Spire" reveal about Jocelin and his attitude to ...

    Withholding her name allows Golding to deny Goody her own identity and personality, turning her into a possession rather than an individual person. As Jocelin thinks of her as 'Pangall's wife' it may be that he is trying to remind himself that she is married and the fact Jocelin feels

  2. Quotes from the Spire

    what faith"p190 Shows Jocelin realising that he was never a real Christian "You were all over my knees like a dog"p200 Hints that Jocelin is homosexual "I'm a building, with a vast cellarage where the rats live"p210 Shows Jocelin's growing awareness of his repressed emotions "It's simpler to believe in

  1. Summary of The Spire

    Shortly after this, Jocelin climbs the spire and witnesses Roger and Goody having sex. A steel brace is made and fitted to the spire. While this is going on, Jocelin secures a place for Goody in a local convent. But when Rachel discovers Roger's infidelity, she attacks first Goody, then Roger, and Goody dies in childbirth.

  2. Importance of Roger Mason in 'The Spire'

    Roger's mental breakdown has turned him into a 'crab', he is no longer the skilled and reliable 'bear' he was at the start of the novel. This presentation of Roger shows that he, too, has an irrational side and that he is not in fact that different to Jocelin, Roger

  1. The Spire

    the cathedral Golding portrays this shapeshifting obsessive compulsive behaviour in the actual narrative of the story as well, there is a constant shift of narrative within the novel, between Third person and First person, "Then he dared to think again, in the warmth at his back.....It is my guardian angel,"

  2. Using the following extract as a starting point, explore the ways Golding presents the ...

    the opaque exterior of the "tent" does not necessarily prevent their discovery as it has no barrier for sound, and under close and suspicious scrutiny becomes transparent, revealing their scandal. The "fear" expressed by Goody Pangall may also be a sign of guilt as it would be truly shameful for her affair to be unveiled, particularly by her husband.

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