We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

At The End of the Novel, Ralph Wept for the “Darkness in Man’s Heart” Essay Sample

  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1,355
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: novel

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

Golding uses the phrase “darkness in man’s heart” to refer to the evil and barbarism in man.

Throughout the novel, “darkness” is used as a symbolism for the evil, savagery and cruelty within mankind. Evenings are “menaced by the coming of the dark”, and it is at night-time when the darkness of ignorance and superstition descends on the community, that the island becomes a frightening place, and when dreadful deeds occur such as the murder of Simon.

The first incident that shows the extent of savagery in the boys is the hunting of the sow. The large sow had been peacefully suckling her young, “sunk in deep maternal bliss” and so her death agony is therefore even more horrifying and gruesome. Jack’s behaviour is especially barbaric when he is described as “lugging out the hot bags of coloured guts”. Violence is portrayed with phrases like “air was full of sweat and noise and blood and terror” and “prodding with his knife whenever pigflesh appeared”. Similarly, Golding compares the killing to that of a sexual attack – the boys are described as being “wedded to her [sow] in lust”, “hurling” themselves at the sow and the eventual killing is compared to the pleasure of an orgasm. (“heavy and fulfilled upon her”)

The attack on the sow is more violent and shocking than the previous slaying of a pig (in Chapter 4). The boys show remarkable brutality in choosing for destruction the sow with piglets at her side – a picture of serene motherhood and domesticity. The killing of the sow is the point at which the powers of destruction, embodied by Jack, triumph over the restraints of civilisation represented by Ralph. Here, the boys irrevocably commit themselves to a savage way of life and there is no turning back after this.

By going beyond murder to suggest hint of a sexual attack, Golding is implying that the boys are losing their innocence (sex is usually associated only with adults). Jack and the boys are overthrowing civilisation’s inhibitions and giving way to their primitive urges.

Also, Golding points out that the desire to dominate is present in even the most innocent of children. The boys want to exercise power, to impose their will over a victim (the sow) as this gives them a sense of satisfaction. (“fulfilled” their needs) The fact that the boys do not even feel a single tinge of remorse nor guilt and even re-enact the killing of the pigs, to the hilarious “laughter” of the boys, shows the extent of degeneration in the boys, and how sadistic they have become.

Similarly, the murder of Simon brings out more poignantly the evil in the boys. Simon had meant to tell the truth about the beast (that it is merely “harmless and horrible”) in order to bring hope and salvation the boys.

Ironically, his courage and sense of obl

igation to others lead to his death when he crawls into the midst of their tribal dance, is mistaken

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
for the beast and viciously killed! The boys are so blinded by the “thick, urgent” desire to kill and hurt that they lose all their senses. Animal savagery seizes them and as Golding puts it, there are “no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws”.

The fact that the chant of the boys has changed to “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” is a subtle reminder that the boys have changed their target from being an animal (“it”) to a person, more specifically, a male (“he”). Golding could be suggesting that the boys have subconscious replaced their desire to hurt an animal with an urge to actually kill a person. The fact that the beast has now become a person could also mean that the boys have turned into beasts themselves! The boys want so badly to kill Simon (because of the savage beast within them) that they see Simon for what they want him to be and thus give way to their primitive urges.

Simon’s death in the hands his own companions, to whom he tries to reveal a fundamental truth, is tragically ironic. No longer contented with killing pigs, the boys have moved on to killing human beings and the “tearing of teeth and claws” show us how the boys are behaving like the beast themselves!

What is worse, even the ‘good’ boys like Ralph, Piggy, Samneric who joined in the killing of Simon will not accept responsibility for the death of Simon. Piggy persists in thinking him “batty” and Ralph, while he recognises that murder has been committed, speaks about it with a “kind of feverish excitement in his voice”, as if recognising the thrill of their evil deeds. This shows how evil is present in everyone, even the most well-behaved and civilised.

Where the boys could have previously been blinded by the excitement of the chant in the dark and too overcome with mass hysteria that they killed Simon, they cannot be similarly excused for the killing of Piggy which was committed in bright daylight.

In Chapter Eleven, Ralph, Piggy, Samneric make their way to Castle Rock holding the conch, bent on retrieving Piggy’s glasses which had been stolen by Jack’s tribe. However, even the power of the conch is insufficient to protect Piggy from the savagery that Jack has unleashed. In Piggy’s final speech, he asks a series of questions:

“Which is better – to be a pack of painted niggers like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?”…

“Which is better – to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?”…

“Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”…

Here, Piggy makes a futile attempt to appeal to the sense of civility in the boys and to the moral sense of what is “right” and wrong. However, he does not understand that this method will not work on Jack’s tribe who are no longer concerned with doing things “right” and playing a fair “game”.

Thus, Piggy’s questions are unanswered indirectly when Roger, “with a sense of delirious abandonment”, topples the huge rock and kills Piggy. This is a final confirmation of the fact that evil now reigns on the island and the fact that evil has triumphed over good.

Piggy’s death symbolises the ‘death’ of intellect, logic and reason which he has come to represent. Thus, when the conch dies with Piggy (“exploded into a thousand white fragments”), Golding is suggesting that democracy cannot prevail over human beings.

As such, the killing of Piggy can be viewed as the obliteration of intellect and reason from the island. After the higher ideals of religion and poetry (poetic beauty in Simon’s surroundings) are destroyed with Simon’s death, the intellectual form of society with its laws and democracy is killed with Piggy’s death.

With these three incidents, we see how the boys gradually become complete savages. Although children are traditionally thought to be innocent and that they become corrupted only because of society, Golding destroys this belief by showing how even the supposedly ‘pure’ and ‘untainted’ children are capable of evil and cruelty.

Although the boys begin by trying to create a civilised society similar to what they are familiar with, they gradually reject these restrictions and revert to primitive ways of savages.

In this way, Golding reveals the “darkness in man’s heart” by showing us the evil within the boys – they are the beasts themselves!

We can write a custom essay on

At The End of the Novel, Ralph Wept for the “ ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Pale Horse Pale Rider

Reading the three different novels "Old Mortality", "Noon Wine" and "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" you will learn that despite the different plots in the novels there is a common thread. The protagonists in all three novels has been challenged or locked in some way by the society but finally breaks free and live a better life the way they want to. The strong individual beats the society and its challenges. Plot The first novel "Old Mortality" is divided in three parts. In the first part we hear about two girls Maria and Miranda learning about their dead aunt Amy through letters, poems and stories told by their grandmother. Amy was raised to be a proper woman in a society where women had few rights. In the second part Maria and Miranda are staying at a convent, where they are raised to become real ladies. Their knowledge and information is filtered, so they...

A Joke That Is Not So Funny

"Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day" (Russell). From this quote from Anton Chekhov, one can tell he viewed life in a very different way. Chekhov enjoyed writing stories about reality. He often wrote about tragic, true stories that happened in his own life. Chekhov liked to write stories that were very sad and depressing but he just wanted to write about how he viewed life. The story, "A Joke," can be a true story in many lives, possibly even Anton Chekhov's life (kirjasto). The story "A Joke" is about a girl named Nadyzhda Petrovna and a guy whose name is not mentioned. The story begins when the two go sledding down...

Novels Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas also known as Alexandre Dumas, Pere is a french author best known for his talents, prolific plays, and historical adventure novels. He was born on july 24, 1802 in villers-cotterers, France. Duams, got his last name from his grandmother, who was a former haitian slave. He was french’s most popular authors in the 19th century. His novels the three musketeers and the court of monte cristo was indisputable. They were both written in the year 1844, and translated into English two years later. The author sets the novel at the time france was going through a lot of political plots. According to the penquin Readers sheet: “Louis XIII had been on the throne for many years, but during his minority, from 1610 to 1617, his mother Marie de Médicis had served as regent and became extremely powerful. She allied France with Hapsburg Spain and arranged the marriage in 1615 of...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?