Suffering and sin in five of the '20th century novels' of William Golding : Pincher Martin, Free Fall, The Pyramid, Darkness Visible, The Paper Men
In an introduction and five chapters, each devoted to one novel, the thesis examines the different aspects of suffering and sin with which Golding is particularly concerned. The Introduction briefly examines all of Golding's novels and two of his short stories (The Scorpion God and Clonk Clonk), giving an overview of Golding's concerns and suggesting the possibility that Golding, in his last two novels and in Rites of Passage, tried to account for some of the reasons for suffering and sin in the contemporary world. The suffering caused by the sin of egoism and greed is examined in the chapter on Pincher Martin, which also discusses the effect of sin on dying and the fear of death. The chapter on Free Fall shows suffering and sin under the aspect of the individual's inability to relate in any meaningful way to another individual. Golding's preoccupation with freedom and determinism is also briefly examined in this chapter. Much of The Pyramid is concerned with exploitation and the lack of understanding of love, and the suffering which arises as a consequence is discussed in the third chapter - a theme which is also important in Darkness Visible. The sin of egoism and its consequences, and the suffering arising out of the long process of development during a divine call to self-sacrifice are further themes examined in the chapter on Darkness Visible. The right of the individual to determine his own life is examined in the last chapter The Paper Men, where suffering is shown to arise from an individual's refusal to accept his responsibility for others and in his attempt to evade a possibly divine call to duty by 'running away'. A bibliography of works by Golding and on Golding concludes the thesis.