Lord Of The Flies And Heart Of Darkness Analysis

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It seems that in every part of life, evil is afoot. The world is consistently torn apart by war and violence. Problems arise in children’s books, novels, plays, religion, friendships, at home, and at the workplace. It makes sense, then, that when nothing seems to go right, it is in human nature to seek out the reason why. William Golding and Joseph Conrad each came to the same conclusion in their search for that truth. Human beings, they believed, are the culprits responsible for bringing evil into society. Each author portrayed evil in his book, but each author also (subtly) offered up hope for a better tomorrow. Both William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness take on the theme of evil as an intrinsic part of…show more content…
In the beginning of the novels the characters seem respectable; Ralph blows the conch and every boy comes to a democratic assembly; Marlow is on a noble quest to rescue the feeble Kurtz and help his company. A closer look, however, reveals foreshadowing of these characters’ downfalls and the fact that all of them have had evil all along. In Lord of the Flies Jack seems like an obvious sinister character. He is described as having “angular features, a black cloak, and red hair,” all classic signs of the bad guy (Ziegler viiii and x). Jack is the one who hides behind his war paint and crawls around in the woods. He blushes bright red, a symbol for pride, but so does the “good guy,” Ralph (Fitzgerald and Kayser 81). And be careful not to forget that it is Ralph who wears the snake-clasp belt, the serpent in a virtual Garden of Eden (Zieglar x). Conrad’s characters are described as evil through color (or better said, lack thereof) as well. Darkness envelops the crew of the Nellie as Marlow tells his tale (Lindley 185). “It had become so dark that we listeners could hardly see one another” (Conrad 40). Kurtz’s heart is so dark that he is only a voice, not even a shadow of a man (Carlson 23).Their descent into darkness parallels the same descent of all men (Lindley…show more content…
While The Beast in Lord of the Flies and Satan in Heart of Darkness are heard of often, God is mentioned almost never (Lindley 184). “Lord of the flies” actually translates to Beezlebub in Greek, and this devil lives in us as described in his one and only speech: “’You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?’” (Epstein 205, Golding 143). Similarly, each station in Heart of Darkness is said to represent a circle of Hell (Lipka 29). Man is not strictly the devil, but walks in his domain. With each stop on Marlow’s journey, the reader experiences greater and greater evils(Lipka 29). Kurtz’s staked heads and his position as God to the natives are the greatest evils of all (Lindley 190). Marlow also mentions different devils throughout the book—“His mental world is populated by demons: ‘the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire’, not to mention ‘the gnawing devils of hunger’ and the ‘flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil’ who presides over the colonial enterprise” (Lindley 184). The devil is all around in Heart of Darkness. Both authors use the biblical devil as a means to portray the devil
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