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

Essay by zomgliekwtfHigh School, 10th gradeB-, June 2008

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 10 times

Golding’s 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 publisher’s 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 mankind’s 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 it’s 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...