Friday, August 30, 2019

‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding and ‘The Withered’ Arm by Thomas Hardy Essay

Describe how evil is presented in ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding and ‘The Withered’ Arm by Thomas Hardy. Lord of the flies is a story that begins in the after a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean during an unnamed war in which a group of English schoolboys are isolated on what they assume to be an island, under no adult supervision they are left to ‘defend for themselves’ create their own friendships and fight their own battles. As the story unfolds the boys develop a miniature society in which they try to include rules and order, but, each with their own ideas of right and wrong and sometimes totally different priorities, difficulties inevitably arise, their little community collapses and the boys are thrown into a world of hurt and fear. There were three main characters in this story, which affected the entire group and how they behaved. Jack began as the arrogant and self – righteous leader of the tribe. There was Piggy, who in no doubt an intelligent, practical and a sensible thinker. He is the mouthpiece of science and reason on the island, and is a good planner who can think logically and prioritise things which was carefully ordained by Ralph who was an organised person, sensible and had a quite a bit of knowledge on survival. In the story we see the true evil that outcome from these boys. In the following paragraphs I am going to describe the horror that was used by William Golding in his novel â€Å"Lord of the Flies†. The first signs of evil emerging from the boys appeared when Jack and his hunters killed a pig and re-enacted the killing. In the process people were injured and the chanting that became a ritual began at this time. Although Jack’s ambition to kill a pig had been fulfilled, he now had a taste of the glory and sense of power. This meant that he was by no means satisfied to have killed one pig, but would instead continue to do so. It is significant that Jack felt it was necessary to kill pigs, seeing that there was a large number of people on the island. It is important to note how much the boys manage to achieve before their inner evil destroy their senses of responsibility and reason, that is, before the boys finally come to savagery and violence. They discover fire, they build shelters, they explore the island, they go on hunting trips, and they delegate social responsibilities. Initially, one would be inclined to think that Jack’s leadership is a poor one as he relies on brute strength. However, Jack is clever enough to know that the boys’ survival is as important as rescue. Food has to be hunted for nutritional needs (which Ralph tries to deny). â€Å"Are there ghosts, Piggy, or beasts?† Ralph seems to depend on Piggy quite a lot like an adult to guide him the way, but the mistake that Ralph does not see is that Piggy is not an adult. This is a clever technique used by Golding as he is building up the tension and the readers will be urged to read on. Another significant event took place during the killing of the pig, the hunters let the fire out, and there was open violence from Jack, when Jack was confronted by Piggy, Jack swung at Piggy and broke one of his lens off his glasses which was an important piece of equipment, as the glasses, meant they could have a fire which enables them to be rescued. This illustrates how Jack was being overcome by his evil inside him. The Lord of the Flies is represented in the form of a pig’s head on a stick, which appeared to speak to Simon in the forest, while he was experiencing one of his epileptic fits. Golding uses this to show that the evil on this island has come from within the boys themselves. Simon then climbed the mountain and discovered that the swaying beast was in fact a dead pilot. This is gone far enough. My poor misguided child. Do you think you know better then I do?'† Simon thinks of the pigs head (The Lord Of The Flies) as the symbol of their descent from civilized behaviour to animalistic savagery. It is because of the pigs head that Simon realizes that nature can be brutal and horrifying, an idea that clashes with his previous love of nature and the spirituality inbuilt in it. Simon frames nature in terms of its how like Eden it is, but the Lord of the Flies is a challenge of that view. Most importantly of all, Golding reveals that there is indeed a better side to man’s nature through his character, Simon. Throughout the novel, Simon is portrayed as a Christ-like figure and a saint. Unfortunately, it was at this point where the evil came out among all of the boys, as Simon was mistaken for the beast and the boys were all overcome by the evil inside them and the ritual begun once again as it did with the pig and Simon was brutally killed in disguise of the beast. In this part of the novel we see that evil has overcome the boys and there is no longer any structure at all left within the boys. Following Simon’s death it becomes clear that none of the tribe would accept that they had become evil and had just sabotaged a human being, but Ralph on the other hand could see what they had become and confronted Piggy saying â€Å"that was murder†, Piggy knew what had happened but tried to hide it by coming up with lame excuses like â€Å"it was dark†. Ralph had learned from this and controlled the evil inside him. When Piggy got his glasses stole by the other tribe Ralph and Piggy knew that they had lost all their power. So the only way to regain that power would be to get Piggy’s glasses back. Unfortunately this lead to more hatred when the two tribes started to argue and it was obvious that Jacks tribe had the most power and during this argument Roger decided to push a Rock onto Piggy leaving him dead, which shows that Jacks tribe was just pure evil and had no other thoughts than to kill. Towards the end of the novel Ralph was hunted down like a wild animal and the imagery Golding uses in this final chapter describes a world where insanity and evil rule. It is even possible that the boys now saw Ralph as the beast, which is why they hunted him down. Secondly, although all the boys were hunting Ralph to kill him, most of them probably did not realise what they were doing or why. This is because Jack had influenced their minds and half of them probably saw killing Ralph as a game. In view of the fact that Ralph was being hunted down by everyone on the island, we must accept that he would have been killed had it not been for the arrival of the Navy officer. It must be noted that Golding does not choose to allow Ralph to be killed. This could be because he does not wish to allow evil to win. The real message that Golding is trying to send out is if we have no rules or boundaries then we will behave like animals do so anything can be done, in this case killing has become a hobby. In â€Å"Lord of the Flies†, Golding suggests that once man is freed from social conditioning and obligation, the intrinsic sense of evil will be revealed in him. He destroys the optimistic view of human nature by showing how even the most innocent of all – children can deteriorate into primitive savages once freed from the trappings of society. The actual storyline was pretty lame because a bunch of children just happened to crash on an island stranded, they all have a big tribunal war, people die, then the Ralph is in trouble and some navy guy appears and saves Ralph. This story was a bit too predictable, but the descriptive text in this novel is fascinating and keeps you reading. The withered arm is a pre-20th Century, short story. It is full of supernatural elements and coincidences. The story involves the characters Rhoda, a jealous middle-aged woman who has a son by farmer Lodge. Farmer Lodge has just married a young, beautiful woman called Gertrude. Rhoda being a jealous woman unconsciously conjures up an evil incubus. This causes Gertrude’s arm to weather, she tries all the cures she knows off, but resorts to using the supernatural to heal it. This leads to a dramatic ending. Right at the beginning of the story we are in suspense because there is much speculation about the new bride. At the beginning of the story it is thought that Rhoda and Gertrude are rivals, as they have both had a relationship with farmer lodge. They occupy traditional roles in the story; Rhoda is the older neglected lover with her looks fading. Gertrude is the young, beautiful blooming new wife. Age, beauty, status and social class divide them. Rhoda is extremely jealous of Gertrude we know this because she sends her son to spy on the new wife: ‘see if she is dark’ Her jealousy is what leads to the first element of the supernatural, which is her nightmare. Stricken with jealousy, her subconscious thoughts surface in her sleep as she innocently dreams of grabbing Gertrude’s arm ‘in a last desperate effort, swung out her right hand, seized the confronting spectre by its obtrusive left arm.’ Rhoda’s first reaction to Gertrude is of horror and fear. In her dream, she sees Mrs. Lodge as a figure ‘with features shockingly distorted and wrinkled by old age.’ Hardy uses simple diction to convey the horror of the nightmare. He also uses emotive language like ‘maddened’ and ‘mockingly’. Rhoda’s nightmare can be explained as coincidence, as a physical manifestation of the girl’s unconscious awareness of the situation. Rhoda’s dream creates suspense and words such as phantom keep it going. The next morning we learn that the dream was real as her son asks: ‘what was that noise in your chimmer, mother last night. Did you fall out of bed around two o’clock?’ The developing relationship between the two women has elements of the macabre. Rhoda often asks to see the wound, and seems fascinated by the clear indication of the marks of four fingers. Gertrude relies on Rhoda for a sympathetic understanding of the growing estrangement between herself and her husband, who ‘knows the disfigurement is there’. The choice of the word ‘disfigurement’ reveals his attitude to appearances. As the arm is getting worst and she has visited a doctor who cannot help her, she becomes increasing desperate for a cure as her husband is starting to love her less. She turns to Rhoda to take her to see Trendle much to her dismay. Rhoda fears for the loss of a good friendship. Trendle is a witch doctor and has powers other people don’t, in the story many people believe in him, except Gertrude who says: ‘o, how could my people be so superstitious.’ She soon changes her mind and goes with Rhoda to visit him this is where it is revealed that Gertrude has an enemy: ‘medicine can’t cure it. Is the work of an enemy.’ Trendle then reveals the face of her ‘attacker’ to her. Gertrude reacts calmly when she finds out who it is as she says she does not ‘care to speak of it.’ When she is talking to Rhoda and does not tell her what she saw. After this Rhoda and her son disappeared quietly. Over the next six years, Gertrude’s arm continues to wither, and the fact that she had brought no children to her husband made her worry even more that Mr. Lodge would reject her. Mr. Lodge has superficial love for Gertrude which was based on her beauty: ‘the woman whom he had wooed for her beauty.’ But as her arm is getting worst we see that he starts to disregard her. She starts to age beyond her years: ‘she was now five-and-twenty; but she seemed older’. She becomes desperate for a cure and tries all sorts of remedies. This makes us feel sympathetic towards her. As a last resort she visits Tremble and tries to take advantage of his ‘white magic’, this leads to fatal results and her superstition, combined with desperation, must be held accountable for this. He tells her she must ‘touch with the limb the neck of a man who’s been hanged.’ As time passed she considers this and wished: ‘o lord, hang some guilty or innocent person soon!’ This shows how desperate she was becoming. Gertrude’s meeting with the hangman reveals her obsession: she has in fact prayed each evening for some ‘guilty or innocent’ person to be hanged Rhoda and the hangman having a discussion in which she says: ‘o- a reprieve- I hope not!’ Here she is saying even if the person is innocent she hopes he will not be let off. Through out the story it is full of irony- you have farmer Lodge marrying to have a son, even though he has one which he does not recognise. Hardy chose not to give the illegitimate son a name; this may be because Lodge failed to recognise him, even though he wishes for a son: ‘I once thought of adopting a boy!’ Gertrude befriends the boy but unknowingly wishes for his death, in which when she finds out the identity of the hanged man she dies from shock. The denouement of the finial gruesome meeting between the two women brings all interaction to an end. The scene is highly dramatic and needs few words. This is where we learn that it is Rhoda’s son that has been hanged and due to this Gertrude’s ‘blood had been turned indeed- too far’. In conclusion of both stories I think that Lord of the Flies represents horror in a more sophisticated way than The Withered Arm, saying that Lo-rd of the Flies was written when there was no TV this virtually inserts images into your thoughts, the only thing with Lord of the Flies was the actual storyline as it was too unreal because if there was a plane crashes, normally there is hardly any survivors but in this case, the whole troop survived!! In conclusion the withered arm is an effective story of the supernatural from the point of view from the reader. When it was written as people heavily believed in the supernatural and witchcraft, this is another reason the story is effective. It differs from today’s horror stories, as it is not full of blood and guts.

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