What physical features of the island seem significant? How do Ralph, Jack and Simon respond to the physical landscape & what does this reveal about their characters?
A major aspect about the physical features of the island is that it is in fact in the shape of boat the very thing that they desire to be rescuing them from the island giving it an irony of how they are stuck on something in the from of their safety and freedom. “It was roughly oat shaped” this is just a brief description of the island that they are stuck on demonstrating exactly what I said before that they are almost on the thing that they are looking for and yet they can not use it. “A circular horizon of water” there is water around the entire island trapping them in there giving it the feel of a watery prison with no escape. The island is in this book shown as the paradise island of perfection and tranquility that we all search for as the perfect spot for relaxation and yet on this perfect island the most fowl deeds imaginable are committed. There are constant references to the children getting entangled in the creepers once again demonstrating how underneath the ideal setting of the island there is a more sinister undertone to it.
“Immured in these tangles” this illustrates how the creepers like every thing else on the island is trapping them and holding them down to the island making very difficult to escape. However possibly one of the most sinister and least noticeable o all of the islands features is its tall pink rocks. They are always described as being imposing jagged and sharp, “the jagged outline of the crags up towards he mountain.” This quote gives us some sense of the imposing threat and importance of the mountains. They are always a sign of danger even later in the book it is where they believe that the monster is, I contrast to this they also did signify hope when the fire was up there.
The pinkness of the rocks does in its self have significance, it could be seen as the purity of Rousseau’s idea of the noble savage at that all are by nature nice and born good hearted and it is just the corruption of society that can turn tem away from this, this purity could be represented by the colour of white. In opposition to this view there is the view of Hobbs who believes that if several people were put in a place with no rules life would be “nasty, brutish and short” this idea of blood and killing could be represented as red. We could see that in the colour of pink for the rocks we can see the purity of child hood going a and being soaked under the blood of a word without rules, like Wordsworth’s crossing the threshold once the protection of law and discipline (represented by adults) people become very different.
All of the characters in the novel act in very different ways to the landscape and the trees and plants on it. Ralph seems to take a curious outlook on all of the different surroundings of the new island trying to look at more logically and with more sense than the other two children. “You couldn’t light them” said Ralph. “They juts look like candles” this quote demonstrates how Ralph is trying to look at the plants with more sense than the other two and ids maybe becoming more of an adult and losing his childish imagination. We see his adult like assessment of things earlier on in he novel when he see the coral and immediately knows it is an island no other child shows such an analytical outlook on island, just seeing it in their own different ways that their imagination produces for them. “It’s an island. That’s a reef out in the see” this quote demonstrates Ralph’s perceptiveness of the situation, and although I could be argued that he is the only one who could because o his dad being in the navy no one else looks at it so logically.
The character of Jack towards nature changes through out he book however he sill always seems to take the same outlook on one part destroy it. A good example of this is when they see the candle like flowers and we really see the contrast in the different characters of he children, ‘Jack slashed at one with his knife and the scent spilled over them.” this quote in particular demonstrates the destruction that Jack shows o he things in nature, the fact that Golding says “the scent spilled over them” it just makes jack seem all that more barbaric. You also see how later on in the novel Jack becomes obsessed with hunting and killing pigs when they do no even need to he just get s a blood lust from his destruction of nature and life. To the opposite extreme there is the character of Simon who is more reserved and quiet and is always looking at the beauty of nature and trying to confide in nature, which can be seen by the way that he goes off on his own into the forest. “Like candles. Candle bushes. Candle buds.” He looks at even these simple flowers as they were a thing of beauty, he see the island as a place like in coral island of utopia and Rousseau’s idea of the noble savage and that all things are born good this would properly be true if the entire island was like Simon.