Restraint in Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness

Restraint in Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness

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Restraint in Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness



        Throughout Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness  the importance

of restraint is greatly stressed.  This being the restraint to remain human

and maintain sanity.  In Heart of Darkness, Marlow was able to remain his

restriant despite how difficult it was for him. He was always surrounded

by cannibals and constant chaos.  On the other hand, Kurtz was unable to

keep his restriant, as a result he lost his humanity and sanity, and

eventually died because of it.  In Lord of the Flies, Ralph is able to

restrain restrain, and he therefore remains human.  He found it difficult

though, because there was only one other person who was able to do the

same- Piggy.  Ralph was determined to maintain order, and he was very alone

because of it.  Jack on the other hand, gave in to the temptation of simply

hunting and playing, and lost his humanity in the process.  He became a

savage - not a human being, but a savage with a painted body and strange

barbaric ways.  In contrast, the cannibals in Heart of Darkness, (who are

starving) could have easily had many satisfying meals.  After all, they

outnumbered the whites thirty to five, but they still had necessary

restraint to refrain from savagely feasting on some of the easily

accessible seamen. Towards the end of the novel, Marlow becomes becomes

very close to losing his sanity, but also has the necessary restraint to

maintain it. He confuses the beat of a drum (the call to man's primative

side) with his own heartbeat, but is still able to restrain from slipping

over the edge as Kurt did.  Ralph in Lord of the Flies is constantly faced

with temptation to join Jack and all of the other boys, especially when

Piggy dies and he is all alone.  This makes it even more difficult to

restrain from giving in to Jack and his animalistic tribe. Therefore, it

is evident how important restrain is in these two novels.  The ability to

do so may be the difference between life and death, and the one who can

restrain himself teh most is the one who prevails in the end.


      In conclusion, it is evident that the authors of these two novels

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wrote about their own life experiences because they were able to draw

emotion form things that actually haopened to them.  Also, through Lord of

the Flies and Heart of Darkness, Golding and Conrad were able to express

the isolation that some of the characters were forced to endure, and the

importance of restraint in dealing with one's humanity.  These compelling

novels leave the reader with two possible questions.  Would I be able to

cope with the intense isolation?  And, do I have the necessary restriant to

maintain the humanity which so many people take for granted?  finally, the

reader would be left with a better understanding of the darkness, which

Golding and Conrad believed, each and every one of us possess somewhere,

deep down inside.


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