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

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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.

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