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

Discuss the pessimism that Golding and Garland present in the novels Lord of the Flies and The Beach. Show how both writers have a pessimistic attitude to human nature.

Extracts from this document...


Nicole Ryan Discuss the pessimism that Golding and Garland present in the novels Lord of the Flies and The Beach. Show how both writers have a pessimistic attitude to human nature. Lord of the Flies was written in 1954, a time when commercialisation was not an issue and media hype only had subtle effects on society. The Beach was written in 1996, American globalisation had begun and the media played a massive part in society. The different times affect the novels in different ways. For example the technological jargon language used in The Beach is very different to the Standard English used in Lord of the Flies. Both novels are similar in some ways yet different in others, although either way they always have hints of pessimism. One of the ways the novels are different is genre. The Beach at first seems to be travel writing, so the reader expects to learn about the journey and culture of the back-packing land of Bangkok, yet the main character Richard travels to an isolated island, where there is a lot of different cultures and races and no one shares the same value systems, traditions, customs or beliefs so the genre seems shift slightly. ...read more.


Jack also wears a black cloak, the reiterative image of black and the bad temperament makes the reader aware he may be apart of the downfall in the novel. The Beach is highly reflective of 'normal' life as it's an adult world, it has rules and people who want to stick together, although, mimicking life in society means there will be rebellion, this is why we depend on policing. Garland believes that there is an underlying evil in all humans, which is why Sal loses her morals so easily. Lord of the Flies has no actual adults, and so is not reflective of 'normal' life. Children live for the moment and do not think things through for example Jack only thinking about food instead of survival. "Hands up" insinuates the school-like tendencies and haven't yet grown up. What splits the group is when Richard refuses to help Bugs in a desperate situation. During the course of the food poisoning Bugs is clearly in distress: "No!' He wailed, then his legs buckled and he slipped backwards." The destruction from just one spoiled squid insinuates that it wouldn't take much to devastate the island, especially if people react like Richard, "Look at yourself, who the fuck do you think is going to clean this mess up?" ...read more.


Society has changed from Golding's time when Standard English was used. The only slang the young boys speak is public school jargon: "Wizzoh!" Lord of the Flies has a Standard English third person narrator because of this we do not feel or know what any characters are thinking we only know actions of people and so we miss a familiarity and understanding of characters and are unable to build a relationship. The beach is written in first person narrative and is autobiographical of it's persona so there is a much more intimate relationship between the reader and Richard. This allows the novel not to be chronological as we can look at Richards's memories and past experience. The memories Richard thinks allow more characterisation, we learn a lot more about him for example when he thinks back to "a trip to India, seventeen years old, more dope than sense." The pessimism throughout both novels suggests that nothing is always as it seems and shows cracks from the very beginning. In Lord of the flies the word devil is mentioned as early as the fifth page, which reflects the characters. Both writers do not suppress their prejudicial feelings toward human nature. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE William Golding essays

  1. Themes, Motifs, and Symbols - Themes are the fundamental concepts addressed and explored in ...

    that none of the boys protests when Jack declares him an enemy of the tribe. Chapter 10 also develops the novel's symbolism by connecting it to the dynamic of power and force on the island. As Jack's power reaches its high point, the figures of the beast and the Lord of the Flies attain prominence.

  2. Is Golding's view of humanity entirely pessimistic?

    The fact that Golding claims that everyone contains evil, determines that he indeed views humanity with pessimism. At the end of the book we witness the unthinkable; Ralph and the boys are rescued. The Naval officer arrives just at the right time, for any later could of resulted in Ralph's death.

  1. To what extent is Lord of the flies a pessimistic book?

    conch starts becoming less important, 'If I blow the conch and they don't come back; then we've had it.' Ralph doubts that the boys will return to him and the conch, he also knows that if the conch becomes unimportant everything will fall apart.

  2. Analysis of Lord of the Flies.

    As he and Simon work, most of the other boys splash about and play in the lagoon. Ralph gripes that few of the boys are doing any work. He says that all the boys act excited and energized by the ideas and plans that they make at meetings, but none

  1. How does Golding use the language to show Piggy and Simon are never fully ...

    Simon once again plays an important "mediation" role during the meeting as he attempts to calm Piggy, Ralph, and Jack by saying, "What I mean I...Maybe it's only us..." This stuttering statement stops the boys arguing, and re-directs the attention to Simon.

  2. How Does Golding present a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature using language, ...

    At this stage, Jack is afraid of what might happen, he is also insecure as to what to do. The reader can tell this as he read further into the paragraph. "There came a pause a hiatus..." Again this language shows that Jack is unsure about what he is doing.

  1. How does William Golding present aspects of human nature in the first four chapters ...

    This tells us that the human nature of the boys changes when they are in different situations. They may bully Piggy and cast him down but towards Ralph they show respect and are faithful. The boys only bully Piggy because they can but are afraid not to obey Ralph and their nature changes towards these two people.

  2. How Golding Uses Symbols in Lord of the Flies.

    of a sentence, and concentrating on the main part of the event, Piggy's death. The next symbol to be discussed in the book is that of the island, and its gradual and subsequent ruin. Like the conch, it is a beautiful, peaceful and untouched world, but it is constantly affected by the boys' actions throughout, even from before the book.

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