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ERIC Number: ED018412
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
WILLIAM GOLDING'S NOVEL--THE BACKWARD LOOK.
PECK, CAROL FAULKNER
THE "SURPRISE ENDINGS" IN EACH OF WILLIAM GOLDING'S FIRST FOUR NOVELS OCCUR WHEN THE POINT OF VIEW SHIFTS FROM THE LIMITED WORLD OF THE NOVEL TO THE UNLIMITED WORLD OF REALITY. THE BOYS' RESCUE BY THE UNCOMPREHENDING OFFICER IN "LORD OF THE FLIES," REFOCUSES AND REINFORCES ALL THAT PRECEDES IT, AND THE FABLE, SUPERIMPOSED UPON REAL LIFE, BECOMES EVEN MORE FRIGHTENING UPON REFLECTION. THE SHIFT IN THE LAST CHAPTER OF "THE INHERITORS" FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE NEANDERTHAL MEN TO THAT OF THE CRO-MAGNON MEN BRINGS THE READER SUDDEN RECOGNITION THAT HIS IDENTIFICATION WITH THE NEANDERTHALS ALLOWED HIM TO VIEW THE CRO-MAGNONS AS OTHERS MIGHT VIEW HIM. THE REVELATION AT THE CLOSE OF "PINCHER MARTIN" THAT MARTIN'S BOOK-LONG STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL ACTUALLY OCCURS WITHIN A FEW MOMENTS FORCES A REVIEW OF THE NOVEL AND PREVENTS AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF INTERPRETATION. ALTHOUGH SAMMY'S TORTURE CHAMBER IN "FREE FALL" IS FINALLY REVEALED AS A BROOM CLOSET, THE UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT SAMMY WAS THROWN INTO THE CLOSET BY ACCIDENT EMPHASIZES THE IRONY EITHER OF SAMMY'S EXTREME SELF-TORTURE OR OF HALDE'S UNDERSTANDING OF SAMMY'S MIND. WITH THE OCCURRENCE OF EACH "SURPRISE ENDING," THE READER IS FORCED TO TAKE A BACKWARD LOOK FROM A SUDDEN NEW PERSPECTIVE. CONSEQUENTLY, EACH NOVEL DOES NOT END IN THE READER'S MIND PRECISELY WHERE IT ENDS ON PAPER. (THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN "MARYLAND ENGLISH JOURNAL," VOL. 6 (FALL 1967), 10-12, 17.) (RD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A