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Date of Award
Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
Maurice L. McCullen
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Louis H. Leiter
All three of Golding’s first novels make dark comment on what they show, but of the treem Pincher Martin, ostensibly the darkest, offers the most hope. Although “the protagonist’s particular history of guilt and greed is intended to stand as a fable for contemporary man,” man (and Pincher) could choose not to turn away from God. That choice, however, demands faith or vision. If, as Baker points out, “the final chapters intentionally contradict the reality shown in the narrative - and thus expose the fallibility of the rational point of view,” they also morally direct the reader’s vision, helping him toward a wider perspective, one which may account for different realities, eternal values. And thus does the richa and extensive symbolism, which so clearly paints a despicable portrait of Pincher Martin, extend inward to the irrational province of the self’s dark center in each reader. That center can then choose to turn inward on itself, to invent a heaven - or hell - out of itself, or to look outward to a larger, divine light. Largely because of his use of symbolism, Golding tries with commendable success to influence the choice and to sharpen the center’s vision.
Runion, Dianne Lucille Braley. (1980). Pincher Martin': Symbolism Serving Fable.. University of the Pacific, Dissertation. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3151
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