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

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

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

Lord of the Flies highlights the flaws in human nature and shows how
they affect the societies we create. Lord of the flies has a
pessimistic atmosphere throughout. Although to begin with the book
seems to be quite positive, (the boys have fun and are optimistic
about being rescued) the atmosphere is slowly transformed into one of
savagery, fear and betrayal. The ending of the book leaves the reader
feeling pessimistic about human nature and sorry for Ralph.

The first time the boys meet together there is a positive atmosphere,
the boys are excited and their progress towards constructing a
civilized society makes us hopeful. They vote for a leader and Ralph
is chosen,' This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch.'
The way both the conch and voting are expressed as 'Toys' reminds us
that these are small children. They need toys to keep them busy. It is
almost as if they are playing a game and this is Golding; first
ominous hint that there is trouble ahead- the language suggests that
the boys do not see the seriousness of the situation.

In chapter 1 Ralph Jack and Simon search the island. It seems
beautiful, 'every coign of the mountain held up trees-flowers and
trees'. This optimistic atmosphere is increased by the description of
the island and the mood of the boys, 'this time Ralph expressed the
intensity of his emotion by pretending to knock down Simon; and soon
they were a happy, heaving pile in the under-dusk.' However this is a
great contrast to later in the book, the violence becomes real rather
than playful when, 'Roger sharpened the stick at both ends.' The last
time this had been done was to stick a pig's head, which Jack and h...


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is evil within man. I think Golding's point is quite a realistic one,
society around us is shaped on the natures of the people with in it
and how easily they are swayed or how manipulative they are. If they
can manipulate many people they can do what they want and take
control, however if a person is easily swayed they would make a weak
leader. I found this book very interesting as it put forward many
interesting views and questions. I found it quite pessimistic. I think
this is because Golding concentrated on the flaws in mans nature
rather that the positive aspects. Maybe this is because Golding
thought that it is easier for man to do wrong than to do right and
that the brutality within can come out with less effort then it takes
to do good. Ralph certainly reflects my feelings when he 'wept for the
end of innocence and the darkness of man's heart.'

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