对《蝇王》中艺术特色的研究 – An Analsis of the Artistic Features of Lord of the Flies毕业论文
Lord of the Flies of William Golding is a philosophical novel of which the characters, scenes, stories, and images are all of deep irony and symbolism. The irony and symbolism used in the description of characters and images play a bridging role in the revealing of the essence of human nature. It depicts the experiences of a group of children who are trapped on a deserted island because of the imaginary World War III. And the desire of power and the fear of the unknown inside human heart reveal the evil nature of these originally innocent children in such an imaginary world that is far away from adults and social rules, which leads to the consequence that evil outweighs justice and savage defeats civilization in the battle between sticking to civilization and stooping to savage. So this paper aims to analyze its irony and symbolism in the main characters Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and Jack and some representative images to explore the essence of human nature and then get the point on human nature: why human civilization seems so futile and fragile in front of desire and brutality?
Key words: Lord of the Flies; irony; symbolism; the human nature
1 Introduction 1
1.1 William Golding and his works 1
1.2 Lord of the Flies 2
2 Theory of Irony 3
2.1 Irony 3
2.2 Irony in characters 4
2.3 Irony in event 6
3 Theory of Symbolism 7
3.1 Symbolism 7
3.2 Character images 7
3.3 Object images 10
4 Conclusion 13
An Analysis of the Artistic Features of
Lord of the Flies
1.1 William Golding and his works
William Golding is a British novelist. He was born in an intellectual family in England in 1911, he began to write at the age of 7. Golding took after the open and rational disposition from his father who was a scholar and was obsessed with learning and exploring. He was absorbed in literature since childhood. In 1934, Golding published his first work Poems. Unfortunately, the second world war broke the peaceful life, subsequently Golding participated in the war in 1940, he experienced many memorable battles, he took part in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Afterward took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. After the war, Golding retired in 1945. And his view of humankind completely changed through the war. Later he began his novel creation, from Lord of the Flies(1954) to The Paper Man(1984), shows his conception that the essence of man is evil. Golding is the representative figure of realism literature in the 20th century, and he mainly expresses the theme of “darkness of human” which shows the concern on the future of the human race. Because of “the clear narrative techniques of realism as well as the diversity and universality of fictional story, which expounds human conditions of the current world”, Golding won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983. Since then he published The Inheritors(1955), Pincer Martin(1956), Free Fall(1959), The Spire(1964), The Pyramid(1967), Darkness Invisible (1979), Rites of Passage(1980) and other works. Among them Rites of Passage was awarded Booker Prize. Additionally, he also wrote the script, essays and short stories, and published A Moving Target in 1982. He is called “fable grapher” in the west, and in his perspective, the world is absurd, horrible, painful and desperate. (陆明雪,2014) This is an unreasonable world. The laboring, indifferent and depressing atmosphere in his novel is exactly corresponding with such a world. In order to display the philosophic connotation in the novel better, and manifest the unreasonable world more profoundly, he is used to adopting the following artistic expression techniques: symbol, irony, absurd. Golding uses his unique meditation and calmness to excavate the origin of the mutual killing which has never stopped for thousands years among human races. He establishes a series of contradictions of humankind in his works: original good and evil, humanity and brutality, rationality and irrationality, civilization and savage and so on.
1.2 Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is the first and the most famous full-length novel of Golding, it is an allegorical as well as a mythological novel. With the external form of the famous children novel The Coral Islands, this novel typically presents the concept of “evil of human nature” of Golding. Although the children are the protagonists of this story, Lord of the Flies actually is not a child literature in general, but a book written for adults, in which the children’s world shown in the stories is just a microcosm of the adults’ world. As Wang Xiaobo said, “This novel just puts the story in the background of the future era, which actually has the same essence with pure literature. He puts the story in an imaginary world just due to the time background currently can’t accurately express his writing intention.” The publishing process of Lord of the Flies was not smooth, it was refused by twenty-one publishers after Golding had finished it and was not published until 1954. What made people surprised, nevertheless, was that the book gained tremendous success as it came out and immediately became the bestseller in high school and college campuses, which was popular among young readers and enjoyed “the model of British contemporary literature” status, and even was put on the screen twice in 1963 and 1990. It shows the theme that once the constraints of civilization are relaxed, the primitive instincts of humankind will be thoroughly exposed. Due to the power of the evil nature of most people, the minority who insist on civilization become innocent victims. In the story, from the initial state that the children could work together, to the later division due to their fears of the “beast”, contradictions finally burst out between the two factions, one represents reason and civilization, and the other savagery and barbarism, which not only shows the vulnerability of civilization and reason as well as the difficulty of pursuing democracy and order, but also illustrates the truth that it is easy to get into despotism, while difficult to stride forward a democratic society. (缪昌义, 2004) Lord in this novel is the king of dirty affairs, and the synonym of the ugly personality. It is not merely a symbol of the ugly pig’s head, more representatively is the deepest darkness of human nature–the innate badness in the secrecy of one’s own heart which can not be avoided.
2 Theory of Irony
Golding’s Irony mainly occurs in the absurdity of reality. Golding creatively constructs the ironic plot structure with his original ironic tone, reveals and criticizes the irrationality of human side especially the evil of human nature, which complements with the foregoing symbolism. The main characters are innocent children who love to play naturally. Even when they go to catch the wild boar, having fun is one of the purposes. As children, they don’t have keen insight and reliable judgment, and can’t think rationally to find out the solution, therefore, they cannot fully understand what happens, as well as their behavior and intention. As a result, most of them become barbarians. (尹敏敏, 2013) However, the emergence of naval officers at the end of the novel changes the reading field of reader–we should analyze these children from the perspectives of adults from civilized society, which makes the overall structure of the novel change from a children novel to a book on the entire human race, which points to the evil of human nature directly. And this shift strengthens the ironic effect of the novel unprecedentedly, and highlights the fundamental aim of Golding’s ironic narration.