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

Reacting against Victorian optimism and to the horrors of the 20th Century, William Golding chose to express his anti-Utopian views about humanity in ‘Lord of the Flies’ (1954). Explore how Golding crafts his narrative in order to voice his phil

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Reacting against Victorian optimism and to the horrors of the 20th Century, William Golding chose to express his anti-Utopian views about humanity in 'Lord of the Flies' (1954). Explore how Golding crafts his narrative in order to voice his philosophical views about 'man's essential illness'. To what extent do you agree with his views? Golding's dystopian views of 'man's essential illness' are derived from his experience of 20th Century warfare. 'Lord of the Flies' is a fable in which Golding displays man's flaws inside a microcosm. This didactical work shows us that we have far to go, but there is hope. I will study his novel to discover his views, and will decide if I concur with them. Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911, and brought up in Wiltshire. His father was a teacher and a socialist and his mother actively supported the campaign for votes for women, so from an early age he was aware of social and political systems and their influence on people. During the Second World War, Golding joined the Royal Navy and took part in the sinking of the Bismarck and the Normandy landings on D-Day. His experience of the war had a profound effect on his view of the world. He learnt how brutal people can be. Although he was appalled by the evils of Nazism and the Third Reich, he said in an interview in 1963 that everyone was capable of inhumanity, not just the German or the Japanese. He saw Nazism as an evil system, and so horrifying that it could not be explained through reason alone. Later on he looked for an explanation in the nature of human beings, in their capacity for brutality and inhumanity. ...read more.

Middle

None of the other boys understand him; he is simply dismissed as 'batty' and 'funny'. His perception of the natural life of the island has a distinct contrast to the other boys. When he retreats to his secret den and is absorbed by richness and variety, he recognises that the real beast is in everyone, and that this truth must be accepted before we are either ruled by it or overcome it. At the end he becomes a martyr, who died for others, he is killed as he tries to tell the boys the truth about the beast. From the beginning Jack is singled out from the rest of the boys because of his flame red hair. This insights a sense of ferocity and violence in the reader's mind, even before his personality is revealed. He contributes to the whole group by providing meat. Jack openly contests Ralph's leadership and is obsessed with power. At the start he controls the 'wearily obedient' choir with military discipline. Jack rebels against hope of rescue due to the amount of pleasure and enjoyment he is having on the island. Jack rejects the democratic processes by which rules and decisions are made, and instead imposes his own desires by force. Jack rules in an autocratic embodiment of power. He enjoys his 'subjects' to be hurt in order for their obedience and loyalty. Ironically if they hadn't have been rescued, Jack's tribe would have lost their main source of food, the fruit trees that were burning, to route out Ralph. 'The fools! The fools! The fire must be almost at the fruit trees-what would they eat tomorrow?' He overcomes and suppresses the civilised restraints which originally prevented him from killing a pig and surrenders himself to his violent and bloodthirsty instincts. ...read more.

Conclusion

His mind is obviously degrading, because he eventually has 'one of his times', a fit, which is a result of great mental stress. Simon is a macrocosm of every person on earth, he is facing the two parts of his inner self, the good and the evil within him are confronting each other externally. Strangely the evil within him is externalised outside of Simon whereas the goodness within him stays inside of him. Golding does this to show us that we all externalise our fears into a tangible object, so that we can defeat it in some way. But if it were displayed inside us then we would have no clear way in which to defeat the evilness within us all. Golding portrays the whole of the human race in these few boys. He reverses mankind's evolutionary state; he removes civilisations restrictions on them so their natural primal state is laid bare. We are shown that are roots were based around murderous savages, which, if left unchecked, we would all eventually become. I think that Golding has shown the disintegration of the boy's personalities to such an extent to achieve the direct opposite of Ballantyne. I believe that Golding completely believes in the 'original sin' that resides in all human beings. Although I think that we all have a part of us that is in tune with evil, most of the world's population has the ability to control this side of our personality, and in most, will only surface in extreme conditions. In effect, I partly believe in Golding's theory because he gives us examples of evil, within Roger and Jack. But I can also see that humans have a natural good side to them, in which Golding has shown in Simon. The author has written a profound novel which does display 'man's essential illness' that we will never escape from. By Cheryl Gogin ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How does William Golding show evil at work in Lord of the Flies?

    3 star(s)

    characters within the novel and gives us more detail about their personality. For example, Ralph and Piggy immediately try to say to the litluns that there isn't a beast to try and save them the discomfort they constantly say 'But there isn't a beastie!'

  2. Free essay

    Why Do You Think William Golding Chose To Set Lord of the Flies on ...

    4 star(s)

    surrounding it to show how good people interact with nature, and how good people do appreciate how good the world is, and should not be destroyed by nuclear war. By setting LORD OF THE FLIES on an island away from all modern materialistic values and influences, Golding was able to show how nature rewards those who are good, i.e.

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

    Piggy is also quite a weak character, he has brains and liked by the reader. However I don't think the other boys respect him, and he doesn't have much authority over the boys. One of the other boys says 'who cares what you believe -Fatty!'

  2. Analysis of Lord of the Flies.

    the beginning of the novel and that is quickly assuming an almost religious significance in the camp. Chapter 6 also serves to remind us of the larger setting of Lord of the Flies: though the boys lead an isolated life on the island, we know that a bloody war is

  1. Compare the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding to Heart of Darkness ...

    Roger is the most evil boy on the island and his large capacity for evil is seen in how he actually kills Piggy by shoving a giant boulder off a cliff. The manager Golding and Conrad use the characters and their behavior to reinforce these four major themes further and

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

    He claims that although they have so far failed to bring down a pig, they will soon have more success. As Jack and Ralph bicker, the bond between the two boys seems to crack, and hostile feelings well up in each of them.

  1. A comparison of the way Piggy's death is portrayed in - "Lord of the ...

    "The sky and the mountain were at an immense distance, shimmering in the heat; and the reef was lifted by mirage, floating in a kind of silver pool half-way up the sky." This little interlude reflects on the past, and will maybe add more impact to the incidents to come.

  2. Lord of the Flies Essay How does Golding build up to the final ...

    People joined him out of desperation, needing the things that he was promising. This is similar to the way Jack gained support, because he was aware of the doubt and fear that was spreading through the boys. He promised them meat and fun, which they gratefully accepted, leaving Ralph to join Jack's tribe.

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