William Golding

When Ralph’s life is saved thanks to the timely arrival of the British officer, he weeps –the narrator says- “for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy”.

In this final fragment of the novel Golding words the main issues he was interested in when writing this his first novel and which were to become recurrent themes along his production, namely in later novels such as The Inheritors, Pincher Martin, and Free Fall. Though not taking a specific Catholic viewpoint, Golding hovers round the great absolutes of good and evil, and the nature of man. Paraphrasing the title of one of his novels, the experience on the island of the wrecked group of children is a kind of “rite of passage” from childhood into adulthood, from light into darkness, from an apparent initial innocence to the discovery of inner fear, brutality, and evil: the cycle of man’s attempt to rise to power or righteousness, followed by his eventual fall from grace.
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