Is 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding a completely pessimistic novel?

Topics: William Golding, Truth, Literature Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Goldings novel Lord of the Flies is not a totally pessimistic novel; hence this is not the only reason that it was refused by so many publishers. It is evident that although it has strong pessimism throughout the text, it is not without a brighter side. Thus, pessimism could not be at fault for the publishers lack of interest in the text as there are other grounds for their judgment.

The Oxford English dictionary defines pessimism as:1.lack of hope or confidence in the future.

2.a belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good.

So is Lord of the Flies a totally pessimistic novel? Well judging by the definition of pessimism, this theme is indeed strongly evident throughout the text, yet it is a far cry from being totally pessimistic as such. The novel explores mankinds potential for evil as it illustrates a number of irresponsible, malicious and violent acts performed by mere schoolboys due to the situations in which they are placed in. Maybe its only us . . . Says Simon as the idea of the beastie being only the darkness within one another hits him. Though almost every character becomes a savage (as Golding describes them), some characters represent the better aspects of human nature. Ralph represents democracy and order as he is put in power by a democratic vote, attempts to please the majority and has his eyes set upon the boys salvation off the island throughout almost all the novel. Piggy represents logic and intelligence as he is thought of the thinker and is arguably the most rational boy in the group. Simon represents natural goodness as he is the only character to continue doing what is right whilst all the other boys fall into savagery.

The novel progresses with significant losses taking place; whether it is a physical loss or a conceptual loss, as Simon dies, symbolising the loss of truth, giving him a Christ-like allusion; Piggy dies, symbolising the loss of intelligence, rational thinking and...

Bibliography: The Oxford English dictionary 'Lord of the Flies ' - William Golding
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