Location of Evil in A Passage to India and Lord of the Flies: Landscape Versus Mindscape
The theme of evil and its outcome is central to both the novels. This research highlights a point of similarity between the treatments of this theme by the authors. It emphasizes that the external setting of the stories, from the moment ‘evil’ emerges and shapes the further life of the characters who encounter it, is superfluous and used only as a device. It is the internal life of the characters represented in both the novels through which ‘evil’ is subliminally reflected. Hence, E.M. Forster, and William Golding seem to focus on the consciousness of the characters rather than representing them as the victim of surroundings.
It is said that evil is present in the caves. ‘Evil’ is absence of good. In the caves ‘darkness’ is the symbolic representation of the absence of the light of hope and union. There is an air of disappointment in the caves. As the bridge party was unable to bridge the gulf between the English and the Indians, an effort made by Dr. Aziz to entertain two English ladies, goes in vain (Wright 223). Both the ladies visit the caves while having different thoughts and suffer. Adela suffers psychologically and considers as if she is raped while Mrs. Moore suffers both psychologically and physically and dies later on. ‘Evil’ in the form of breakage of human relations appears in the caves.
The Marabar Caves are the focal point where it is impossible to identify good from evil. The merger of both in the Caves represents the mystery of life, where things are not black or white, but an overlapping of black and white, of good and evil. The ambition of human agency to keep things in order becomes nothing more than a representative phenomenon of this overlapping. The human agency and its disappointments, fears, hopes, quest for personal values and universal love, are served with an ultimate failure in attaining any meanings and significance rather they are taken back to a prehistoric kind of chaos where they are evermore undetermined, and always in flux. The characters in the novel encounter the universal confusion in all its nakedness for the first time in Marabar Caves. The outcome is hazardous as the superfluously ordered and meaningful day-to-day world of causal existence is reduced to a contingent one. The boum-oum of the caves serves like big bang and makes human agency realize that it is merely the production of an accident and its life is surrounded and encircled by an overwhelming nothingness. Beyond the boum-oum, life has no meaning rather it does not exist. All the characters in the novel who experience this presence of nothingness in the scheme of things are seen in a struggle to revaluate their standing and viewpoints. They interpret and mark this experience in their actions and behaviour to others. The new Mrs. Moore is indifferent; the new Adela is hostile to love, to human contact; the new Aziz is agitative and uncompromising; the new Fielding is amazed and disappointed.
The transformation of the characters enables the reader to focus more closely on the presence and location of evil in the scheme of the novel. However, the location of evil in the novel is undetermined. It is in neither the Caves, nor an integral part of Chandrapur landscape. Evil emerges as an opportunity to various characters to act in a certain way. Where Forster is interested in how individual behaves with each other, he is also raising moral and political issues, related to their over all behaviour and association. That is why the geographical presence of evil (landscape or the Caves) serves as a device only; an instrument through which the true selves of each of the characters is revealed. The sin is geographical as long as it serves the purpose of a background setting of the scene of human actions. It is given a separate entity to bring human agency in deep contrast to it – so that the affinity, inclination, and a proneness to it may become manifested in each of the human agent. However, the argument become otherwise confusing, if evil presented in the novel through the images of landscape and Caves, is understood in terms of location or place of evil only. In other words, on the one hand evil is not geographical as it does not belong to a landscape, but it is geographical on the other as far as it belongs to the landscape of mind. The geographical landscape of evil, therefore, is human mind: “Nothing is inside them, they were sealed up before the creation of pestilence or treasure; if mankind grew curious and excavated, nothing, nothing would be added to the sum of good or evil.”1
1E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin Modern Classics, Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd, 1976 (p 125). Hereafter cited in the main text by title or page numbers.
The commentary upon the description shows that the Marabar Caves are only the part of landscape i.e. just like any other caves. It is made clear that nothing is present in these caves (Parry 143). It is a place to visit and whosoever comes to see the caves brings his or her own experiences, feelings and emotions and so many things on mind (Edwards 61); “because Marabar caves can hear no sound but its own” (152).
If a flame lives in the polished wall, it is because a match has been struck. If the wall contains galaxies, it is because there is a human eye to see. The ‘bouming’ voice of the caves is merely an echo. These caves are ‘perfect’, then, only on their negation: only when humanity, with its variety and confusion intrudes, do they become anything. Thus, if different people come away from the caves with different feelings, it is because of what the people carry with them, rather than because of the caves. (Edwards 61).
Everything can have its own reflection in the caves. ‘Echo’ is one of the most important things present in the caves. “Boum” is the sound as far as human alphabet can express it, or “bou-oum” or “ou-boum”(145) – utterly dull. Hope, politeness, the blowing of a nose, the squeak of a boat, all produce “boum”. Echoes generate echoes, and the caves are stuffed with a snake composed of small snakes, which writhe independently (Traversi 397).
Amidst this chaotic universe of negation and contradiction represented by echo, Forster places the often idolized human emotion i.e. love. Love is supposed to be binding and all encompassing as a universal agent. It is supposed to harmonize and develop a bond of intimacy among people. But in the face of the powerful negation, it also stands no chance as does the religion. Love can not be the ultimate saviour as according to Forster it is conditioned by the social and civil conventions. As the conventions can not stand against the universal ‘No’ so does love which rely on these for its working. If the idea of God is represented through love for humanity as in Mrs. Moore, the failure of love is denoted by the breaking up of human relationships. Death of Mrs. Moore is the death of an all benevolent, kind, and merciful God. The breaking up of human relations is the failure of love to address all humanity. Forster seems to suggest that the mindscapes are governed by a larger force i.e. negation; which is the source of all values and cause of all the frustrations: “‘Nothing ‘ is a word of power in this text. The theme of nothing is carried for a long time lexically, emerging only intermittently and later into action or character of landscape” (Jay 61).
The human agency must come to term with this ultimate negation if it wishes to find any meaning. That is where perhaps his infatuation with the Hindu religion and his mystical portrayal of Professor Godbole become more manifested than any where else in the novel.
The symbol of darkness and its natural association with evil and the representation of the idea of evil through it, meets a different criteria and treatment in Golding and Forster. Forster makes darkness visible in the Caves section of the novel while in Golding’s Lord of the Flies it remains invisible most of time and is manifested more vividly through the actions of the characters. However, when Golding decides to denote the physical presence of darkness it is always to correspond to an imminent and impending danger in the novel. The effect of this darkness is latent, implied, and gradual in A Passage to India as compared to the Lord of the Flies where it is more direct, forceful and a potent cause of the failure of human society. In other words darkness is associated with evil more clearly in Golding and is treated as a mystery in Forster. Both the novelists rely heavily on the binary opposition of good and evil, love and hate, friendship and enmity. These binary oppositions are suggested through the setting of scenes, characters, and the movement of dialogues in both the novels. For example, in Lord of the Flies it becomes obvious with the passage of time, that Island is going through many changes. Things were good in the beginning, it was just like a paradise but as there were no grown ups – no order, no social check and balance – it burnt as if it was hell, in the end. Ralph said in the beginning, “This is an Island. At least I think it’s an Island. That’s reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grown-ups anywhere”.2 It was Ralph also who said, “But this is a good Island…. While we’re waiting we can have good time on this Island” (37-8). The implication is obvious. The presence of beauty does not mark the absence of ugliness. It can not promise that ugliness exists no more. The idyllic painting of the island in the beginning suggested that it would be otherwise towards the end. The idea of heaven commits the reader to think about hell in the background of their mind as the achievement of heaven is marked by the fear of losing it. The suggestion is that the reader always knew when things would start breaking up. In other words, it is the fear of the reader, which completes the novel.
The reader was always taken into confidence by the simplistic approach of Golding and was given the knowledge of the catastrophe in advance. The traditional division of beginning, middle, and end is worked upon in combination with the binaries of good-bad, heaven-hell, friend-enemy etc. Ralph thinks, “We want to have fun. And we want to be rescued… and of course we shall be rescued”.
____________________________________________________________________ 2 William Golding, Lord of the Flies, London: Faber and Faber, 1983 (p 8). Hereafter cited in the main text by title or page numbers.
An almost similar approach can be deducted in Forster’s A Passage to India. “The secret understanding of the hearts” (21), that Mrs. Moore and Dr. Aziz achieves in the Mosque is represented through serene and peaceful atmosphere and with such figurative language which is symbolic of harmony, love, and friendship; without making the reader forgetful or ignorant of the divergent background of both the characters. So is the friendship of Aziz and Fielding. The reader was always aware of the racial, religious, social, and political issues surrounding these characters. The affair had to be vulnerable, and this vulnerability was exposed when these characters encountered the darkness of the caves. This darkness always overshadowed their relationship from the start. The Mosque could give only a momentarily solace, as the world outside it was conditioned by other motifs, the island in the Lord of the Flies was also not more than a momentary escape which could not last long, as the chaotic and agonized real world had the force to infiltrate through the walls of the Mosque, through the borders of the island.
Evil asserts itself whenever it finds an opportunity. Evil in form of darkness prevails all over the Island and human heart as well. Golding presents the appearance of the darkness/ evil in the following words:
Within the diamond haze of the beach something dark was fumbling along. Ralph saw it first, and watched till the intentness of his gaze drew all eyes that way. Then the creature stepped from mirage on to clear sand, and they saw that the darkness was not shadow but mostly clothing. The creature was a party of boys. (20)
While the Island was heaven and Ralph represents good, he was the first one who felt the presence of something ‘dark’ – Jack. Ralph facing Jack indicates the encounter between good and evil. The main focus of the novel is ‘dark side of human nature, death of innocence, and assertion of evil whenever it has an opportunity. Evil is inherent. Jack’s growing passion for lust, power, violence, and brutality caused destruction on the Island.
Similar to the suggestive presence of something evil and dark in the Island in Lord of the Flies, there is an air of uneasiness while reading about the description of the caves in A Passage to India: “Having seen one such cave, having seen two, having seen three, four, fourteen, twenty four, the visitor returns to Chandrapore uncertain whether he has had an interesting experience or a dull one or any experience at all” (124). Basically, caves symbolize disappointment and separation. In ‘Mosque’ section a bridge party was unable to bridge the gulf between the English and the Indians and the hope of union between the English and the Indians also disappeared in the caves section. Mrs. Moore and Adela, whatever they experienced in caves, were a victim at the end of evil prevailing all around them. Adela suffered psychologically. She had fit of hysteria, while Mrs. Moore suffered psychologically and physically and died later on.
The mysterious events of the Caves need to be translated in one way or the other. Forster refuses to clear the mist and forces the reader to comprehend and interpret the mystery on his own and at the same time makes it visibly irresistible to the reader to go on reading without committing to one or the other interpretation of the mystery. The reader’s own standing then comes to question rather than that of the narrator. Golding in contrast, commits the reader to a certain understanding of the train of events in Lord of the Flies. The mystery of the Caves is an interception and point of departure from universal love and values. It also exposes the shallowness and inability of the celebrated norms. The suggestion is more complicated than the idiocratic dictum of ‘love for all and hatred for none’. On the contrary, love and hatred are manifested as another binary opposition. The ‘location’ of human action contributing these emotions does matter. In other words, that the drama took place in Marabar Caves of colonial India cannot be ignored. Likewise, Golding makes it clear that the mock civilization of half men in the Island is set in the background of a world at war.
In the Caves, Adela was confused and because of extreme darkness, she assumed that Aziz had attacked her. The darkness had a negative impact on Adela and brought to surface her desire to be loved in the shape of fear of being raped:
Even here we do not know for certain who Adela’s attacker is, though it is quite clear she is attacked. We make the unquestioned connection between the pronoun ‘he’ and Adela’s assumption that Aziz is the ‘extra darkness’ which follows her into the cave. But the narrator neither confirms nor denies our suspicions, and Forster breaks off this draft too quickly for us to sense his intentions. The enigmatic reply ‘”not this time”‘ muddies our sense of what Adela fears and wants in this scene. She does not seem to be an entirely innocent victim; we might even (ungenerously) interpret these words to mean that she is asking to be raped at another time. At the least, Adela’s statement shows she wants to fend off danger for the present; but the phrase reverberates in a weird way, and we cannot dismiss the sense that whatever the danger is, it remains both threatening and inviting. (Jay 69-70)
The notion that the Caves stand for nothing more than a possibility for the play of human emotions, of fear and hope, desire and depravity is more attractive than the metaphysical notion of the presence of absolute evil in the scheme of things. The human agent gives meaning to the darkness of the Caves. From this point onwards, the affinity between Golding’s perception of evil and Forster’s presentation of it becomes rather more strong. Evil does not reside in the Island; rather the location of evil is human heart. The boys succumb to their primitive emotions. The Island becomes a metaphor like the Caves, where the temporal becomes atemporal and the present transforms into historical.
Another striking similarity, in this context, is the maturity and then death of both the saintly figures – Simon and Mrs. Moore. The saintly Simon is always ready to help others, as in the beginning he is shown helping the littluns: “Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands” (61). Mrs. Moore likewise counts her presence in India as a positive gesture and extends her love to all irrespective of class and race. Both the characters appeal to exercise of human wisdom against confusion and chaos. That man should excel in the moments of crisis with the help of wisdom and love, is the collective message that comes from both. Ironically, the message is never properly received and gets lost in the paranoiac contingent world where the crisis is refused to be addressed beyond the moment and the collective madness rather than wisdom and love, is designated the power to settle the issue.
According to Reilly, Simon is a prophet like figure who assures his companions that it is a good island. He says that there is no beast/snake in the forest. The snake is actually the product and outcome of the bad dreams (46). In other words, Simon is aware of the reality of the beast, and that the beast represents evil and evil is not on the Island but within human beings. Once again, the Island contains nothing except for the internal fears, ambitions, and hopes of the human agency externalized. Whatever good or evil found in the external world is an exposure of the subjective reality. The human actions have a selfish motif and the point of conflict is not of so called objective or over ruling principles but of vested interests. The conflict or clash, the encounter or the tussle, taking place on the Island and at the Marabar Caves, was not meant to add to the objective world, but to internalize the objective world. The each of the characters involved, on both the instances, asserted his or her will upon the objective world. Those who tried to raise the human agency beyond it and spoke for universal and not personal, or the personal-universal coexistence, met a disappointing death.
The contrast between Simon and Jack is clear. Simon, indeed is aware of the fact that evil is part of human beings. And there is affirmation of his view when he saw ‘lord of the flies’ which is actually the head of a sow; killed by Jack and it was Jack who put that head in jungle for gift for the beast; this act of Jack had a reaction on Simon (Kulkarni 145). Jack is producer of evil and Simon is its psychological sufferer. For Jack it was nothing more than fun but for Simon it was a discovery, an affirmation of the presence of evil in human beings. Jack spoke loudly: “This head is for the beast. It’s a gift. The silence accepted the gift and awed them. The head remained there, dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth.” (151). Simon reached there and “stayed where he was a small brown image, concealed by the leaves. Even if he shut his eyes the sow’s head still remained like an after image. His half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. They assured Simon that everything was a bad business” (151). It was the same jungle for all the boys but the different nature of every child gets translated as some of them wish to preserve good sense while the others are reduced to savages in the end. Evil is frightening and Simon is horrified by the sight of “lord of the flies”: “At last Simon gave up and looked back. Saw the white teeth and dim eyes, the blood – and his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition. In Simon’s right temple, a pulse began to beat on the brain” (152). The Lord of the Flies says that he is part of Simon. Simon realizes that evil is part of human being. Then the beast tempts him by assuring him they are going to have fun on the island. But Simon knows this will lead only to trouble. Finally Simon is threatened by the beast. “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread… Simon was inside the mouth. He fell down and lost consciousness.” (159)
The meeting of Simon with the beast and the effect of the echo of Caves on Mrs. Moore, have striking similarity. The echo shatters Mrs. Moore’s beliefs and makes her indifferent: “The triumph in A Passage to India is the presentation of the spiritual crisis through which Mrs. Moore passes just before her death. So close to the Incommunicable is this crisis that when Mrs. Moore speaks of her spiritual state, her language is elusive and broken as that of an oracle” (Brown 376). Mrs. Moore just lost all the interest in personal relationships. This and her renouncement of the material world were an indication of her impending death: “She is turning her back on the world of matter and phenomena, the world of senses and rational distinctions. She is preparing herself for the final act of dying by moving towards a state of complete isolation and detachment” (Shahane 271). Simon envisions a conversation with the sow’s head and the words reverberates in his mind like an echo of his own understanding of evil. It benumbs his senses and mystifies his intellect. He is unable to think right and distinguish himself from the beast. Both Simon and Mrs. Moore come across an infinite reality. The revelation is too strong: “A spiritual silence seems to have invaded the human senses, and neither sounds nor thoughts can develop” (Shahane 271). The recognition of the presence of darkness in human heart appalls them. The reality that the darkness is part of their self also amazed them. Their stature is reduced and they are belittled by an all-encompassing virtue, in the face of which the values they represent become insignificant: “Pathos, piety, courage – they exist but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value” (147). The realization of the insignificance of human self in this sense, makes Mrs. Moore oblivious of life, and liquidates Simon’s delusion. Apart from this, Simon like Mrs. Moore remains good till the end of his life. Both the characters remain consistent in their beliefs though they realize at the same time that beyond their own persons, their beliefs have little significance.
After having this experience, the maturity of Simon is described in these terms: “The usual brightness was gone from his eyes and he walked with a sort of glum determination like an old man. He found his legs were weak and his tongue gave him pain all the time” (161). This is basically an indication of Simon moving towards death as the effect of the echo of the Caves ultimately leads Mrs. Moore to death. Ironically, Simon freed the parachutist, which was a poor rotten body, from the rock and he wanted to tell others that “the beast was harmless and horrible” (162), but unfortunately he becomes the victim of mass hysteria and collective madness. Both Mrs. Moore and Simon receive an unspeakable truth and a self-assuring but at the same time annihilating wisdom which causes their tragic death. The reception of this wisdom other than their selves was poor and naïve, making them a misfit in society. The violence of the echo silences Mrs. Moore for once and all while Simon when tries to speak is silenced violently and like Mrs. Moore, “Simon’s dead body moved out towards the open sea” (170).
Both Forster and Golding represent the idea of evil through darkness and then associate it with physical violence. According to Kulkarni, The Lord of the Flies manifests that, “We have two great vital drives in us, the self-preservation drive and the procreation drive. The sadism of rebellious youngsters is a form of latent sexuality that has not yet developed physiologically and psychologically. But, the thrill of the pig- hunt has explicit sexual undertones of the kill . . . “(72). Golding, however, is louder than Kulkarni’s suggestion as he links the physical violence with the sexual instinct in a straightforward way: “the hunters followed, wedded to her in lust” (149). The presence of the male/ female binary; the use of pronouns to denote the genders of the hunters and the hunted, the description of the act of killing, and the aura that he builds around this episode, all announce a rape in its cruelest form:
They were just behind her when she staggered into an open space where bright flowers grew and butterflies danced round each other and the air was hot and still…. the hunters hurled themselves at her. This dreadful eruption from an unknown world made her frantic; she squealed and bucked and the air was full of sweat and noise and blood and terror. … Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife. Roger found a lodgment for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight. The spear moved forward inch by inch and terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream…. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her….Roger began to withdraw his spear and the boys noticed it for the first time. Robert stabilized the thing in a phrase which was received uproariously ‘Right up her ass’. (149-150)
Interestingly, the sexual overtones of Adela’s experience in the Caves are more suggestive than the sexual act performed by the hunters in Lord of the Flies. The rape, which never took place in A Passage to India, associates of the sexual instinct with the darker side of human nature. The evil is unleashed through physical violence in both the novels.
From the very beginning, Adela is uncertain about her emotions and the nature of her relationship with Ronny. This state of ambiguity is with her in the caves too. She is confused while talking of her relation with Ronny. She does not understand whether she is in love with that person or not. This thought surrounds her every time. Darkness in the Caves embodies the uncertainty of her relationship with Ronny. In Marabar caves, she is thinking, ” What about love?… She and Ronny – no, they did not love each other. . . . There was esteem and animal contact at dusk, but the emotion that links them was absent.” (150). While looking at sparkling rocks, her eyes sparkled with this idea, which was a self- discovery of the fact that they do not love each other. Having these thoughts in her mind and having the regrets that “neither she nor Ronny had physical charm [as compared to Dr. Aziz]. It does make a difference in a relationship- beauty, thick hair, a fine skin” (151), she went into a cave, thinking with half her mind “sight-seeing bores me” (151) ; and wondering with the other half about her marriage.
This is the point when Adela thinks of being raped by Aziz. The extra darkness overwhelms her in the way that she has a fit of hysteria. Thinking of marriage, she is mentally and physically disturbed. She comes to the realization of the fact (a discovery) that loveless marriage is equal to rape. Her focus reduced to ‘sex’ only and developed a sense of touch. Basically, it was her fear – outcome of her fear of thinking of unhealthy physical relationship with Ronny. May be she considers that she is not going to allow Ronny to touch her body. Being a woman, she is aware of the fact that for males the very demanding or attractive thing is a woman’s body. She could have thought of the pleasures of sex, of being together, enjoying their physical relation but she is annoyed as she has mentioned earlier that she does not find charm in Ronny. Ronny has not appealed her sexually. She is frightened of having ‘forced love-making’ – rape. She has the fears of her body being used having no emotional attachment with Ronny. Having the issue of marriage, in her mind, surrounded by extra darkness, having the physical fear, she assumes that Aziz has touched her and tried to rape her. Silver declares that
Adela’s entrance into the cave affirms a crisis of identity that is both ontological and political. Coinciding with her doubts about her marriage and her perception that she lacks physical charm, it plunges her into consciousness of her place as woman: the place of sexual objectification, the place where being sexual object defines woman’s existence. Within this realm, her intelligence, her desire to know, count for nothing. (186).
In this way, according to Silver, Adela is “violated by the discourse, whether of rape or marriage, that reduces her to her sexuality alone. (186). In retrospect, Silver’s views also point towards the amplification of the body of the sow in Lord of the Flies to its- to borrow from Silver- objectification as a female body.
One can easily understand that Adela’s experience was a doubt, which later, she herself proved. She confessed that she might have been suffering from the delusion of being attacked:
Her vision was of several caves. She saw herself in one, and she was also outside it, watching its entrance, for Aziz to pass in. She failed to locate him. It was the doubt that had often visited her, but solid and attractive, like the hills, ‘I am not –’ Speech was more difficult than vision. ‘I am not quite sure.’ (222)
Mrs. Moore was an old woman and her emotional state was entirely different from Adela’s; otherwise, she might have suffered from the same delusion of being raped as well – as happened with Adela. A deep study of the state of two women shows that they experienced the same thing in the caves. Mrs. Moore’s physical experience in the cave is expressed as:
… she had always suffered from faintness, and the cave had become too full … She lost Aziz in the dark, didn’t know who touched her, couldn’t breathe, and some vile naked thing struck her face and settled on her mouth like a pad.… She hit her head. For an instant she went mad, hitting and gasping like a fanatic. For not only did the crush and stench alarm her; there was also a terrifying echo. (145)
Edwards summarizes the episode by suggesting that “Forster foreshadows the effect of the caves on Mrs. Moore, who discovers that marriage and love are ‘rubbish’,” and if Adela “thinks something brutal and hostile occurred in the cave, this may suggest, then, something about her feelings about sexual relationships” (61).
According to Murry cave symbolizes a universe (237); a meeting place and a point of juncture, where so many people come and they experience different things. Every man is identified with an individual state of mind and different physical strength. Moreover, echo is the inner voice of every person “because a Marabar cave can hear no sound but its own” (152).As a mirror gives the reflection of whatever is seen in it, ‘Caves’ reflect the voice or sound – experience – in form of ‘echo’. And this experience remains with human mind forever. As Adela says, “… but there is this echo that I keep on hearing. ‘Oh, what of the echo?’ asked Mrs. Moore, paying attention to her first time. ‘I cant get rid of it.’ ‘I don’t suppose you ever will’” (195).
Like the Marabar Caves, the Island in Lord of the Flies, symbolizes universe and united in theme with the presence of the echo. The echo produced by the conch reminds the boys of the lost world of rules and customs. Conch – symbol of authority / discipline and order – the purpose of blowing the conch is to gather the others, to organize things. But besides the echo or sound of the conch there was another echo: “Only when Jack himself roused a gaudy bird from a primitive nest of sticks was the silence shattered and echoes set ringing by a harsh cry that seemed to come out of the abyss of ages” (53). The self-destructive human nature is presented through Jack who is in constant struggle of disturbing natural order. Who with his first appearance said with arrogance that he ought to be chief – chief of savages, destruction and violence, who breaks the conch – order, civilization – in the end.
The theme of Lord of the Flies is darkness of human heart. Island as symbol of universe is stationary, ever present like the Marabar Caves, awaiting an opportunity of the show of human action, of good and evil. It is the tragedy of human nature not of environment. “He [Golding] will not permit blame to be attributed to the environment; the island is not responsible for what happens to the boys,” (Reilly 37) as the Marabar Caves contain no evil.
So ‘evil’ is not geographical or racial but within the human beings. Therefore, if something bad has happened to Adela in the caves in the form of darkness it was not because of caves. There is always a uniting / breaking force among the relationships. All depends upon ‘opportunity’. In Lord of the Flies, it is felt that if evil finds the chance to grow, it will destroy the relations. “Not society, nor nature, nor Beelzebub himself is to blame, for the Lord of the Flies has power only over those who commit themselves to his service” (Reilly 47), as Kulkarni also emphasizes that “Golding’s concept of evil is all embracing, for the evil inside a man responds to the evil in the universe” (65). In A Passage to India, there is working of evil in form of Adela’s rape. Otherwise, every one is aware of the fact that no air of friendship between the English and the Indians can survive. Class and racial differences are present among them. The echo only exploits these differences. It remains a devilish fact that both races can never be friends.
In Lord of the Flies, there is separation between two boys Ralph and Jack – as they are representative of opposite forces – and separation between two races Indian and English, in A Passage to India. The development of the theme in both cases is similar and almost predictable as well. People were together in the start but then thy started going away from each other (Ralph, Piggy, Simon, Jack, Maurice and Roger, Dr. Aziz, Ronny, Mrs. Moore, Adela, and Fielding). The good facing evil – clash between the forces of construction and destruction – separation and union are the common features of both the novels. Evil is discovered in both the novels – when relations suffer. E. M. Forster and William Golding give an access to the unconscious of the characters and provide a psychoanalytical study of the presence of so-called evil in human affairs.
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