"Lord Of The Flies" (Golding), Portrays The Defects Of Human Nature, And A Philosophical Pessimism That Seals The Fate Of Man

1188 words - 5 pages

The world had witnessed the atrocities of World War II and began toexamine the defects of their social ethics. Man's purity and innocence was gone.Man's ability to remain civilized was faltering. This change of attitude wasextremely evident in the literature of the age. Writers, who through the use ofclever symbolism, mocked the tragedy of man's fate. One such writer was WilliamGolding. An author who has seen the destruction of war and despises itsinevitable return. Through the use of innocent and untainted children, Goldingillustrates how man is doomed by his own instinct. The novel is called Lord of theFlies, and is of extreme importance to help reconstruct the current wave ofrevolutionary ideas that swept the twentieth-century generation. Lord of the Fliesportrays the belief of the age that man is in a constant struggle between darknessand light, the defects of human nature, and a philosophical pessimism that seals thefate of man. Golding's work are, due to their rigid structure and style, areinterpreted in many different ways. Its unique style is different from thecontemporary thought and therefor open for criticism.The struggle between darkness and light is a major theme in all the works ofWilliam Golding. Strong examples of this are found throughout Lord of the Flies.The most obvious is the struggle between Ralph and Jack. The charactersthemselves have been heavily influenced by the war. Ralph is the representative ofDemocracy. Elected as the leader he and Piggy his companion keep order andmaintain a civilized government. The strength of Ralph's character was supportedby the power of World War II. Jack, on the other hand, representsauthoritarianism. He rules as a dictator and is the exact opposite of Ralph. Jack isexemplifying the Hitler's and Mussolini's of the world. He is what the world fearsand yet follows. This struggle is born at the very beginning and escalates till thevery end. The struggle in the book is a negative outlook on life in the future.One other example is the debate over the existence of the beast. The idea of abeast brings all into a state of chaotic excitement in which Ralph and Piggy losecontrol. Ralph and especially Piggy try to convince everyone that there is no suchthing as a beast to maintain order. Jack and his choir of hunters do all to winsupport of the hunt and in doing so he becomes an advocate for evil. This strugglebetween good and evil is a fairly clear picture of the way this post-war generationviewed man and his journey through life. This is done through Golding's masterfuluse of allegory. Therefor making it enjoyable for all readers.Golding himself stated that the purpose of the novel was to trace the defectsof society back 'to the many defects of human society.' The use of children is anextremely effective way of making the purpose understandable to readers of allgenerations.'The idea of placing boys alone on an island, and letting themwork out archetypal patterns of human society, is a...

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