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How Does Golding present a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature using language, imagery and background?

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How Does Golding present a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature using language, imagery and background? Golding presents a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature by using language, imagery and background. One of the ways he does this is by changing the boys' attitude to killing. Throughout the book, the boys kill several pigs and towards the end of the book, they even kill their peers; each time they do so their reactions and feelings change. This creates a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature, as the characters do not change for the better, they change for the worse. Throughout the book the characters get used to killing but go beyond this stage and start to use it in a adverse way. The first time we read about the injuring of a pig is at the end of the first chapter the characters: Jack and Ralph find a piglet caught in some creepers. The paragraph that explains what happens to the pig starts with, '...Jack drew his knife again with flourish.' The word flourish suggests that Jack is not confident about what he is doing. This is what any normal young boy would probably feel in this situation and shows that the character of Jack is a perfectly normal young boy. It also shows innocence and restraint, which means the characters still have an instinctive uneasiness about the brutal realities of life. ...read more.


Ralph then goes on to ask Jack why he did not cut the piglets' throat but Golding writes that they knew why he had not done so, "because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the undesirable blood." Once more, this shows that the characters are scared, they do not really want to kill another living being and they see the wrong side. Although this does not yet show a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature, it does show that this is not the last time that Jack will kill a pig, "next time there would be no mercy". This does show the development of a bleak and pessimistic future for the characters in Lord of the Flies because the reader can see that Jack is rapidly changing. The next incident where the boys are involved in killing a pig is in the fourth chapter. Their attitudes towards it are completely different this time. They have lost the fear, panic and they are no longer ashamed of what they had done, in fact, they are quite the contrary. This instance they are excited and have made up a chant. 'They seemed to share on wide, ecstatic grin.' This shows that the characters were happy about what they had done. Golding has used the word ecstatic instead of happy or pleased because they are more than just content with what they had done; they actually enjoyed killing another creature. ...read more.


This presents a bleak and pessimistic view as one of the characters, who represents the moral, law abiding side of society, knows what is happening and that is wrong but he can do nothing to stop the events from taking place. The atmosphere created is quite alarming, this is because what was supposed to be a game but turned out to be unintentional bulling. Tension is created here, as the reader is unsure as to what is about to happen next; also, there be the potential for more violence. In chapter nine, A View to Death, things become more sever. The atmosphere is thick and the boys are in the middle of a thunderstorm. Again, the characters are chanting "kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Golding tells us how, yet again, the boy's are play killing. The reader knows that this time, everything is much worse than before. They know this because the background of the scene is more dramatic also, a thunder storm is a illustrative setting for something sinister to happen, in fact, very rarely does something virtuous happen in a thunder storm! Golding describes the lightening as a blue-white scar; a scar is habitually associated with a bad occurrence, as you do not usually get a scar from something favourable. If Golding had merely written: a lightening flash, the affect would not be as dramatic; this is because the word scar, as previously mentioned, has individual connotations, which one associates with bad, which the word flash does not have. Golding presents a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature using language, imagery and background by ...read more.

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