• 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 ...

    Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.' This is an early step in the boys decline into savagery. The civilized instinct still dominates the savage instinct.

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

    Piggy begins to cry, and Jack taunts him by mimicking his whining voice. Angered anew, Ralph lunges toward Jack. At last, Jack admits his culpability in the failure of the signal fire. But he refuses to apologize to Piggy. The boys again use Piggy's glasses to light a fire; they

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

    To get his hands on authority, Jack transformed his angelic black-cloaked choirboys into his hunters. The intimidating sinister black-bird look imposed on the rest of the group was already daunting, and it slowly began to change. The wearily obedient choir simply changed one uniform for another.

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

    Ralph and Piggy favour a system, which favours a system, which requires a civilised and orderly society, but there is a lot of information showing the collapse of the infrastructure of this society. Most of the huts do not even reach completion, it is arguable whether the fire would have

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

    Again the image of beauty is shown through the use of a metaphor to describes palm trees, "their green feathers" high in the air. The Beach is very much the same in its setting and description of magnificence "around me were banks of coral, brightly coloured pagodas, melted and sprawling in the hot tropical waters."

  2. To what extent is Lord of the flies a pessimistic book?

    However by now the reader is not so sure. The boys meet at the call of the 'conch' which Ralph fishes out of the lagoon at the beginning of the book. In heralding the meetings the conch becomes a symbol of democracy, which is later to be broken.

  1. 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?

  2. How Does Golding present a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature using language, ...

    At this stage, Jack is afraid of what might happen, he is also insecure as to what to do. The reader can tell this as he read further into the paragraph. "There came a pause a hiatus..." Again this language shows that Jack is unsure about what he is doing.

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