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William Golding: Some Critical Considerations on JSTORInWilliam Golding: Some Critical Considerations, fourteen scholars assess various aspects of the Nobel The question posed in this essay is more complex than it may look Golding s The others are versions offable, butFree Fallis a fiction, despite specific aspects of fable of which it partakes Richard S CammarotaThe Cambridge Companion to English NovelistsProse limps after the blinding fact', Golding wrote in the same essay (MT, 200) 10 William Golding, Fable', in The Hot Gates (London: Faber and Faber, 1965), pp Hereafter S 1 7 Frdric Regard, A Reappraisal of Golding s First Novel',William Golding: A Critical StudyGolding, Fable: The Hot Gates, p 86 15 Ibid, p 25 36 19 Bernard S Oldsey and Stanley Weintraub, The Art of William Golding, New York (Harcourt, 1965), p 36 20 Peter Green in his essay The World of William Golding, pp 49-50 has

biographies on author william golding

biography of the author william golding

William Golding’s thesis of evil Essay Example for Free

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In Lord of the Flies, one of the effects of the boys' descent into savagery is their increasing inability to recognize each other's humanity. Throughout the novel, Golding uses imagery to imply that the boys are no longer able to distinguish between themselves and the pigs they are hunting and killing for food and sport. In Chapter Four, after the first successful pig hunt, the hunters re-enact the hunt in a ritual dance, using as a stand-in for the doomed pig. This episode is only a dramatization, but as the boys' collective impulse towards complete savagery grows stronger, the parallels between human and animal intensify. In Chapter Seven, as several of the boys are hunting the beast, they repeat the ritual with Robert as a stand-in for the pig; this time, however, they get consumed by a kind of "frenzy" and come close to actually killing him. In the same scene, Jack jokes that if they do not kill a pig next time, they can kill a littlun in its place. The repeated substitution of boy for pig in the childrens' ritual games, and in their conversation, calls attention to the consequences of their self-gratifying behavior: concerned only with their own base desires, the boys have become unable to see each other as anything more than objects subject to their individual wills. The more pigs the boys kill, the easier it becomes for them to harm and kill each other. Mistreating the pigs facilitates this process of dehumanization.

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Lord of the Flies Themes | GradeSaver

The boys' self-interestedness culminates, of course, when they decide to join Jack's tribe, a society without communal values whose appeal is that Jack will offer them total freedom. The popularity of his tribe reflects the enormous appeal of a society based on individual freedom and self-interest, but as the reader soon learns, the freedom Jack offers his tribe is illusory. Jack implements punitive and irrational rules and restricts his boys' behavior far more than Ralph did. Golding thus suggests not only that some level of communal system is superior to one based on pure self-interest, but also that pure individual freedom is an impossible value to sustain within a group dynamic, which will always tend towards societal organization. The difficult question, of course, is what individuals are willing to give up to gain the benefits of being in the group.

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Even so, the novel is not entirely pessimistic about the human capacity for good. While evil impulses may lurk in every human psyche, the intensity of these impulses-and the ability to control them-appear to vary from individual to individual. Through the different characters, the novel presents a continuum of evil, ranging from Jack and , who are eager to engage in violence and cruelty, to Ralph and Simon, who struggle to contain their brutal instincts. We may note that the characters who struggle most successfully against their evil instincts do so by appealing to ethical or social codes of behavior. For example, Ralph and Piggy demand the return of Piggy's glasses because it is the "right thing to do." Golding suggests that while evil may be present in us all, it can be successfully suppressed by the social norms that are imposed on our behavior from without or by the moral norms we decide are inherently "good," which we can internalize within our wills.