Savagery and the Heart of Darkness in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

Afaf Ahmed Hasan Al-Saidi


William Golding’s first-hand experience of battle-line action during World War II “was to shock him into questioning the horror of war. These experiences inform his writing; he was appalled at what human beings can do to one another, in terms of the wartime atrocities…and in their being innately evil” (Foster,7) Two important elements of Golding’s life and experience are powerfully reflected in Lord of the Flies – his pessimism after the Second World War and his insight- as a schoolmaster into the way children behave and function; these two elements from the focus of examination in this paper. What happens when boys are left to their own devices? Golding implies a radical less optimistic view of human nature and civilization. More explicitly, he uses a Pacific island to symbolize the condition of humanity. “Having clinically insulated life on the island from the world and thus contrived a microcosm, he magnifies and inspect it. By this method he examines the problems of how to maintain moderate liberal values and to pursue dis tant ends against pressure from extremis ts and against the lower instincts.” (spark

Keywords: Tropical island; Children; Beast; Heart of darkness; Savagery


Tropical island; Children; Beast; Heart of darkness; Savagery

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