You are on page 1of 3

Weitenhagen1 Colby Weitenhagen Ms.

Horwath English 10 Advanced 10 October 2013 The Pessimistic View The novel, Lord of the Flies written by William Golding is a book about boys stuck on an island. The boys go through many hardships while on the island. Throughout the novel the boys do not have a good mojo. The novel is pessimistic throughout. The literary elements ultimately cause the novel to be pessimistic. One if the main literary elements that led to the novel being pessimistic were the irony. Irony is when something that unexpectedly but was foreshadowed happens. The boys experience irony many times throughout the novel. For instance, Simon was looked at as trivial and no one wanted to listen to his ideas. Ironically Simon becomes one of the most important characters in the novel. The unimportant, small, nerdy boy becomes a leader and a Christ like figure at the time of his murder in the novel. This shows that unexpected things can happen in novels. Another example of irony in the novel is when Ralph accidentally murders Simon. Ralph was supposed to be the leader of the group that could do no wrong. He preached morals and doing the right thing. Ralph said that killing of anything was wrong and immoral. Once again ironically he kills one of his closest friends. Ralph breaks his own rules and morals. Another example of irony is when jack says, “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages.” But Jack is one of the most savage people of the island. Jack shows his savageness by killing boars and having no rules at the end of the book. Jack contradicts himself and is a cold blooded, nonrule following, murderer. Irony is one of the main reasons that the novel is pessimistic.

Weitenhagen2 Another main theme that led the novel to be pessimistic was because I the group of hunters led by Jack. Jack's hunters were blood thirsty, insane animals. Whenever the boys saw a wild boar, their eyes would light up like a fire blazing on a late summer night. Jack was the reason that the boys were split apart. He wanted to be the tribe leader and assert his dominance over Ralph. For example, the hunters were cruel to the other group led by Ralph. Eventually Roger who was a hunter ended up murdering the innocent Piggy. While they were on the mountain, “High overhead, Rodger with a sense of abandonment leaned all his weight on the lever.” This shows that Rodger has no self control or self worth for himself. He could kill and have no hard feelings about it. Also, they wanted total power and control of the island. If they had to murder someone to gain his power then they would. Also Jack was condescending towards the little ones. If the little ones wished to speak or share their opinion in the group it was most likely shot down by Jack. Lastly, the element that made the hunters pessimistic was when they painted their faces. When Jack painted his face he turned into a new person. The inner beast that did nothing good and murdered was released. This side of Jack was the most pessimistic. He could kill with no fear. Jack has no fear because he was hiding behind the mask and did not have any negative feelings for the negative actions he was taking. Jack and the hunters ultimately lead the novel to be pessimistic throughout. Simon is a pessimistic literary element in the novel. Simon seems to give hope to the boys in the novel. He is a smart boy who figures basically most of their problems out. Without a doubt he solved the beastie problem the boys had been worrying about and then he was murdered. All of the boys hope on the island was washed away to the sea. The positive Simon was made into a negative effect on the boys. It depressed them, especially Ralph who loved

Weitenhagen3 Simon and had great wishes for him. The death of Simon was a literary element that was pessimistic. Another literary element that led to the novel being ultimately pessimistic was the end of the book. At the end of the novel when Jack sets the whole island on fire the hunters are attempting to murder Ralph. The boys show no mercy and have Ralph on the beach. When they are about to murder Ralph a navy boat stops Jack and the boys in their tracks. He couldn’t believe how such small children had been on the island by themselves with no adults. This is pessimistic because the boys that that they were great rulers. They organized their own government and it worked fairly well. Also they had their own wars and conflicts. The boys acted as if they were adults fighting in their own war. This is pessimistic because they boys thought that they could run themselves with no adults and no outside world help. But, once the adults stepped in it was like the boys turned from full grown savage men, into young and weak boys. The boy’s thought that they were big and powerful but in retrospect and in the adult’s eyes they were not. This makes the novel seem pessimistic and pointless at the end. The end of the novel causes it to be pessimistic. Lord of the Flies by William Golding is ultimately pessimistic throughout the entire novel. The literary elements made the novel the way is. The boys wanted to kill each other and there was no hope. The novel shows the world but in a smaller view to society. The literary elements ultimately cause the novel to be pessimistic.