An Analysis of the Human Condition
Literature serves many purposes. For one, it can be used to entertain oneself. Additionally, it can be used to educate others on a vast variety of subjects. However, many people don’t acknowledge the third purpose of literature; to show us the two sides of human nature. One author in particular does a remarkable job of showing us this: William Golding. Through the skillful description of his central characters, Golding holds a mirror to the human condition so as to shed light on the magnificence and brutality of humanity.
To start off, Golding shows us the admirable side of humanity by attaching it to the character named Piggy. Throughout the novel Piggy represents the calm, positive, and civil aspects of humanity. When the boys on the island have lost all hope for rescue and show no signs of civilization, Piggy asks them, “What is better – to be a pack of painted savages like you, or to be sensible like Ralph is?” (Golding 199). This shows us Piggy’s bond with civilization and how he perseveres even when times are tough. Furthermore, Piggy always tries to see the positive in everything and tries to be as innovative as possible. When fear of the Beast forces the boys to abandon the fire on the mountain, Piggy suggests, “What’s wrong with a fire down here? A fire could be built on them rocks. On the sand, even. We’d make smoke just the same” (Golding 142). Here it is shown how humans can always find a way to be positive thinkers. Additionally, Piggy is perhaps the most loveable character in the novel. After the boys had been rescued, “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy” (Golding 223). Even though Ralph constantly picked on Piggy, he mourns his death. All in all, Piggy is the perfect example of the brilliance in humans.
Golding conveys the despicable side of humanity through the character named Jack. At first, Jack behave like a normal child, just like everyone else on the...