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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 2247 words

Explain the emergence and rise of the beast in Lord of the flies by William Golding.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Explain the emergence and rise of the beast in Lord of the flies by William Golding: Introduction (1911 - 1993) Golding wrote Lord of the Flies shortly after learning of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. Here is some information about him. He was born in 1911 at Saint Columb Minor in Cornwall, England, Sir William Gerald Golding was educated at the Marlborough Grammar School, where his father taught, and later at Brasenose College, Oxford. Although educated to be a scientist at the wishes of his father, he soon developed a great interest in literature, becoming first devoted to Anglo-Saxon and then writing poetry. At Oxford he studied English literature and philosophy. Following a short period of time in which he worked at a settlement house and in small theatre companies as both an actor and a writer, Golding became a schoolmaster at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy and was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, but following the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School, where he taught until the early sixties. In 1954, Golding published his first novel, Lord of the Flies, which details the adventures of British schoolboys stranded on an island in the Pacific who descend into barbaric behaviour.

Middle

The beast represents the way in which man will try to convince himself that there is no evil inside of him by making someone or something else seem to be the cause for the evil. There are many examples of evidence to support this throughout the book, but first it is necessary to outline the rise of the beast and the evil within the boys. Talk of a dangerous presence emerged on the very first day on the island; when a little boy with a mulberry-colored birthmark on his face informed everyone of a "beastie," which he apparently saw on the previous night. At the time, this was dismissed by the older boys as his imagination, but even at that early stage it was evident that the younger children were troubled by the little boy's words. It must be noted at this point that there was no definite physical appearance to the beast because it was assumed to be the over-active imagination of little children at work. At the same time it is obvious that Golding uses the early chapters in the book to set the scene for the chaos and terror of the beast that follows. Soon it became evident that even the older boys had begun to wonder whether in fact some kind of beast did inhabit the island.

Conclusion

It is even possible that the boys now saw Ralph as the beast, which is why they hunted him down. Secondly, although all the boys were hunting Ralph to kill him, most of them probably did not realize what they were doing or why. This is because Jack had influenced their minds and half of them probably saw killing Ralph as merely a game. In view of the fact that Ralph was being hunted down by everyone on the island, we must accept that he would have been killed had it not been for the arrival of the Navy officers. It must be noted that Golding does not choose to allow Ralph to be killed. This could be because he does not wish to allow evil to win. However, whether the boys would be able to lead a normal life after their experience on the island is doubtful. The fact that the boys used the beast to avoid self-knowledge and the evil inside themselves is clearly evident at the end of the novel, when they all begin to cry at the realization of what they have done. Finally, it is important to realize that the only reason they attain self-knowledge is because of the arrival of an adult figure on the island, which allows law and order to be restored, thereby eliminating the evil. Page 1 of 5 Parijat Kumar

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