Man has never quite found a truly perfect paragon in himself. Through some fault of his own he can never achieve the high ideal of perfection that he seeks to attain. The 'Divine' Michelangelo, named so by his contemporary biographer Giorgio Vasari, never called his masterwork of the Sistine Chapel ceiling finished. When it was unveiled Pope Julius II fell to his knees in prayer at the sight of this 'divine work of perfection.' Michelangelo, who never claimed himself to be a painter, never accepted his work as a masterpiece, claiming that it was "full of flaws" produced by his own imperfections and sins. William Golding attributes this universal flaw to the evil produced by man. Never before had man's evil been shown as it had during WWI. The viciousness of man was apparent to all the world in the creation of the atomic bomb and in a war that concerned the whole earth. In response to this unveiling of evil, Golding created The Lord of the Flies. In this work of fiction, Golding hinted that even the youngest of all individuals- adolescent boys-are capable of inescapable evil. He also suggested that this evil pervades into even the most saintly and corrupts all that it comes into contact with. In The Lord of the Flies Golding uses different characters in the novel to show the influence of this evil upon society and to represent the most the four basic aspects of human nature.
Ralph is an attractive boy and a natural leader; the well-adjusted, athletic boy who might easily become the idol of his peers. First mentioned as "the boy with fair hair," Ralph emerges as a child of fortune endowed with common sense: the sort of child who naturally fosters grace, s...
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...nds the pragmatic conflict of good and evil that exists in man, and unlike Simon and Piggy, he is resourceful enough to elude death and to carry this knowledge back to civilization. On the mainland, Ralph will be a man of reason aware of the darkness that lurks in man-even in the most innocent person.
Baker, James R. "Why It's No Go." Critical Essays on William Golding. Ed. James R. Baker. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1988.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Faber and Faber, 1958.
Hynes, Samuel. "William Golding's Lord of the Flies." Critical Essays on William Golding. Ed. James R. Baker. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1988.
Kinkead-Weekes, Mark, and Ian Gregor. William Golding: a critical study. London: Faber and Faber, 1997.
Moody, Philippa. Golding: Lord of the Flies, a critical commentary. London: Macmillan, 1964.
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