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

How does William Golding explore the dual nature of human personality?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does William Golding explore the dual nature of human personality? The book lord of the flies is a modern fable written after the 2nd world war, which William Golding took part in as a British navel officer. William Golding believed that everyone had an evil side and this was the theme for the novel. Golding presents the theme through the use of symbolism. Golding had a pessimistic view of human nature and he thinks that society holds everyone together. The irony within the book is that the boys were on there way to safety but they ended up battling with each other. The tone of the book is dark, depressing and pessimistic. Golding uses references to Coral Island as the use of the names Jack and Ralph are both derived from Robert Ballantyne's Coral Island. The central symbol itself, the "Lord of the Flies" physically represented in the novel by the pig's head that Jack's tribe mounts on a sharpened stick, represents the boy's gradual descent into anarchy, violence and savagery. Golding uses a lot of symbolism in The Lord of the Flies. The entire book is symbolic of the nature of man and society in general as the island becomes a society metaphorical to society as a whole and the hunt at the end of the book symbolic of the war. ...read more.

Middle

Ralph is somewhat charismatic and is chosen for chief, who makes it his job to lay down rules and try to organize a society. Throughout the novel he is always in conflict with Jack, who wants to be chief himself. Ralph tries to stay good but occasionally strays into bad behaviour as at the beginning of the book he bully's Piggy about his name. Ralph and Piggy agree with each other's ideas, but Ralph doesn't realize how important Piggy really is to him until the very end of the novel. Ralph has a sense of justice and symbolises democracy and order especially when he discovers the conch and orders a meeting: "No. we're having a meeting." Ralph is more of a protagonist and His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages Simon is the 'christ' like character and he is the innocence on the island and he is not affected by the evil. He is the only boy which confronts 'lord of the flies' he is unique as he can hear the voice of the beast. Simon knows what is going on and tries explaining this to the other boys: "What I mean is...maybe it's only us'...Simon became inarticulate in his efforts to express mankind's essential illness" Simon is alienated from the rest of the group. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end, his death brings a symbolic end to civilization on the island. The setting of the novel is on a deserted tropical island which ends up as a battle field. The idea of the paradise island relates to the religious 'Garden of Eden'. The island is symbolic as it is a microcosm of the world. Golding used this idea as there is two sides to the island representing good and evil. The side in which the beach was represented the good side and the rocky mountain side represented the evil side. The boys started of on the beach side but moved over to the rocky side following Jacks lead. This shows how the boys descented into evil. The scar seperates the two sides and the scar symbolises mans destruction. The island is only described in chapter 1: the sound of the shell: "It was roughly boat-shaped: humped near this end with behind them the jumbled descent to the shore. On either side rocks, cliffs, treetops and a steep slope: forward there. the length of the boat, a tamer descent, tree-clad, with hints of pink: and then the jungly flat of the island, dense green, but drawn at the end to a pink tail. There, where the island petered out in the water, was another island; a rock, almost detached, standing like a fort, facing them across the green with one bold, pink bastion." ...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 ...

    By afternoon, though, the sun becomes oppressively hot, and the boys nap fitfully, often troubled by bizarre images that seem to flicker over the water. Piggy dismisses these images as mirages caused by the sun's bright rays striking the water.

  2. Extracts from Piggy's Diary.

    He did not even understand what I was talking about at first but when he did realize he was a bit nicer. But this confirms what I thought about Ralph; he does not think before he does something. A harsh bird cry distracted Ralph's reading.

  1. Both Golding and Dickens have concerns for the moral welfare of their societies. What ...

    Golding manages simultaneously to say that democracy and morals are vital in a society, than just rules and dictatorships. However, human nature and failure make democracy unachievable and "Lord of the Flies" represents this error in human nature. For example on the island Jack becomes a dictator and in the end it leads to disaster.

  2. Both Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein explore the factors of nature and nurture ...

    Through living on the island Jack realises the power he can have over others and uses it unwisely and cruelly. Golding is depicting him as an evil kind of dictator; a kind of Hitler or Satan. Early on, Jack retains the sense of moral propriety and behaviour that was instilled

  1. What Personality?

    Although to some people it is rather hard to see it, he brings it under light. If people do not understand their own personality, then how are they suppose to understand other peoples personalities. Ralph blowing on the conch to call an assembly of the people on the island symbolizes order and democracy.

  2. Reacting against Victorian optimism and to the horrors of the 20th Century, William Golding ...

    The British army had colonised most of the once 'savage' world, and brought civilisation to these people. The boys are all from a middle-class Victorian background. The book was written to mirror and please the Victorian assumptions of the period.

  1. Ralph's return to England

    Shall I walk or ask Mr Roberts next door for a lift?" His mum looked at him and sighed, "You will have to walk.We will leave early tomorrow, I can walk halfway with you, as I am going into town."

  2. What ideas about human nature and behaviour do you think Golding was trying to ...

    He describes it as a "snake-thing." This is like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, waiting to pollute their minds. Another point at which "snakes" are seen is during the first forest fire: "Tall swathes of creepers rose for a moment into view, agonized, and went down again.

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