Nature - the overwhelming force corrupting human's soul. Comparison of Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies.

Essay by massandra82 February 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.8

The world surrounding man has always affected his inner world. This is the reason why writers often introduce certain elements of nature to evoke some feelings in the reader and to create a specific atmosphere of their works. The heritage of romanticism makes people treat nature as a positive force in any literary work. The situation in Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies is just opposite. The Rousseauian concept of man's return to nature as the only way to recover humanity is overturned in the works of Conrad and Golding. They express the subconscious fear of the dark forests as the greatest enemy of culture returning to the Anglo-Saxon idea of the hostile world outside the human civilization. Both writers assume that the contact with the wilderness wakes up the dark instincts hidden, under the layer of culture, within the depths of human soul. Glassman says that the jungle causes a fever to white men or "drives them mad" (204).

Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies share some elements which manifest the conviction of the hostility of nature.

In both works the surrounding world is oppressive and sticky. The events take place in some tropical and savage part of the world - it is either Congo or an inhabited island lost somewhere in the vastness of an ocean. The atmosphere is consciously build of small details:

" The silence of the forest was more oppressive than the heat and at this hour of the day there was not even the whine of insects.Only when Jack himself roused a gaudy bird from primitive nets of sticks was the silence shattered and echoes set ringing by a harsh cry that seemed to come out of the abyss of ages." (Golding 53)

We spot here the main characteristic...