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

Is Golding's view of humanity entirely pessimistic?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is Golding's view of humanity entirely pessimistic? Taking a post at the Maidstone Grammar School for boys and joining the Royal Navy, gave Golding his understanding of boys and cynical view of the war. William Golding says, "the theme (of the book) is an attempt to trace back the defects of society to the defects of human nature..." Golding's view of humanity is clearly displayed throughout Lord of the Flies. Through the constant symbolism we are made aware of Golding's pessimism towards society. As the book progresses he forms an allegory between the island and the real world. When the boys first arrive on the island they are full of enthusiasm and are eager to begin a new, civilised society. We witness immediately the voting in of Ralph as chief and the introduction of rules, "we'll have rules!" The conch is discovered and instantly a democratic society is established. As a result of this, assemblies take place, issues are discussed and decisions are made. At this stage there is a strong sense of order. The capability of the boys to construct such a society is impressive and reflects a positive view of humanity. The question of rescue is soon resolved with fire and the choir is content with watching it and hunting. The impression Golding gives is one of optimism and cheerfulness. ...read more.

Middle

Golding elucidates his pessimistic view of humanity through the hopeless position Jack and the others find themselves in. Ralph's authority over the boys also becomes limited. The fact that Ralph and Jack's order of priorities are so different, Ralph's being the "fire" and Jack's being "hunting", at once results in a division within the group. This division eventually results in Jack's dictatorship over a majority of the boys. Jack's style of leadership is based on domination and fear. What he can't control he seeks to destroy, which contributes to downfall of the island. This demonstrates how Golding observes the world as in discord. He sees humanity as incapable of living in amity, which reveals his view of pessimism. Simon is a significant character in The Lord of the Flies. He is seen as pure and unaffected by the evil of the island. He is part of neither Jack's or Ralph's tribe, which immediately alienates him from the group. Simon sees beyond the surface of things and it is for this reason that he was able to confront the "beastie" and find out the truth. Golding said that Simon represented the good of all mankind. Therefore the act of rejection towards him from the other boys illustrates how in the real world humanity discards goodness. This idea formed by Golding confirms his negativity towards human kind. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, when looking at the circumstance from Golding's pessimistic view, we come to realise with reluctance that the purpose of being rescued is now merely pointless. During the Lord of the Flies we are taken through many stages of the boy's lives on the island, each of which end in disaster as a result of "the darkness of man". We observe the rise of dictatorship and the fall of democracy, as the boy's personal relationships break apart. We witness the development of savagery and primitive behaviour, eventually resulting in the death of Simon and Piggy, who together powerfully represented goodness and order. Finally we watch as the boy's pitiful fear, develops into the breakdown of the society. The evilness of the beast was only a manifestation of the boy's fears alone, so ultimately it was the boy's fears that led to the downfall in their civilization. Like Golding said, the defects of society are due to the defects in the human nature. From this statement we can draw a parallel between the evil in the world and the essential flaws within man. Therefore we can understand from the Lord of the Flies that William Golding believes humanity to be completely defective. We can gather that he considers even the traces of goodness and order among humanity unable to stand against the wickedness and hostility of man. Thus we can conclude that William Golding's view of humanity is entirely pessimistic. Angela Stride 11C ...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. At one stage Ralph asks Piggy "What makes things break up the way they ...

    But when the boys first come to be on the island, though the feeling is present soon the boys can not act upon it.: 'Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw.

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

    Since the beginning, the boys have bullied the whiny, intellectual Piggy whenever they needed to feel powerful and important; now their harassment of him intensifies. Jack begins to hit him openly. Despite his position of power and responsibility in the group, Jack shows no qualms about abusing the other boys physically.

  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. Discuss the pessimism that Golding and Garland present in the novels Lord of the ...

    The reader really feels the breath-taking surroundings because of the imagery Garland chooses to use. "The cliffs, caught in the low morning sun, the jagged edge of the fissure glowed white against the black granite." Both descriptions imply that this is the very ideal of paradise yet other descriptions suggest otherwise.

  1. To what extent do you consider the Lord of the Flies to be a ...

    So the well-dressed English School Boy disregarded his relation back to the real world and he felt as if he was finally in control of his life, yet he did not realise that the law and order was slowly receding into the misty horizon.

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

    How could here be? What would a beast eat?" "Pig" "We eat pig" "Piggy!" And it is Piggy whom they ultimately destroy. The boys do indeed eat the pig and Piggy is destroyed by the darkness within every one of the boys.

  1. The Criminal wave.

    I think I need go to our library". They quickly finished their drinks and hurried out. ------------------------------------------ They spent the next few days working on their theory. As they had spent some time as Physicists, they knew the right course of action. Taking some help from the work of other eminent scientists, they managed to find the mathematical relationship between the genetic code and the e.m.

  2. What are the Implications of the Stanford Prison Experiment for Humanity?

    After the practical was brought to a cease, Zimbardo was shocked at the mad behaviour of the guards. According to him, the volunteers were just typical student 'peaceniks' who all of a sudden 'acted like Nazis'. So what are exactly the implications in a test that caused people so much distress?

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