An Analysis of William Golding's Free Fall

Pages: 8 (2586 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Mendoza, Janine Aleli B.Prof. Alvin S. Tugbo
II-2 AB/BSE LiteratureMarch 26, 2013

The Many Hats of Samuel Mountjoy: Essence, Freedom and Choice An Analysis on William Golding’s Novel “Free Fall”

“I have hung all systems on the wall like row of useless hats. They do not fit. They come in from the outside, they are suggested patterns, some dull and some of great beauty.” Free Fall; Sammy Mountjoy; pg. 2

Free Fall is not a mere story of a man’s “fall”, but a consuming story of search, existence, choice and self-realization. It is a story of an artist, an artist who tries to interpret the connection of his past experiences to his present stature. Having a constant question in mind as to when and how he lost his “freedom”, Sammy recaptures the events in his childhood, adolescence and youthful maturity, and how these stages define his existence.

I. The Novel (An Overview)

Free Fall is a novel by William Golding, consisting of 14 chapters, narrated in first person perspective. It is a narration of Sammy’s past experiences and how he viewed each and every experience, how they affected him and how they make up the present Sammy. Sammy very wisely determines to examine himself and is keen for his self-understanding rather than his art. The story is divided into different phases of his life. (Dr. Jyoti P. Mehta, N. C. Gandhi & B. V. Gandhi Mahila College, Bhavnagar)

Sammy looks back into his life and tries to answer his own questions by searching and dipping himself into a quest for realization. Sammy starts his quest with the urge to know when he did lose his freedom and free will. This now bring us to the central question of his quest.

"When did I lose my freedom?" (William Golding; Free Fall, page 5)

II. The Novelist: William Goding
William Golding has achieved his reputation as one of England’s great authors only recently. His first novel “Lord of the Flies” was first published in the United States in 1955. The book sold barely enough copies. It was not until the appearance of a paperback edition on 1959 that the novel gained so much audience. The growth was phenomenal. Born in Cornwall, England in 1911, Golding was educated as a scientist. After three years in Oxford, he devoted himself to writing. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Navy, eventually ending up in command of a rocket vessel. It was during the war, Golding says, that he lost his naive idealism and first realized man’s tremendous potential for evil. Golding is also the author of The Spire, Pincher Martin and The Inheritors, all of which have been acclaimed as among the most penetrating novel of our time. Golding is a highly committed writer and according to him the prime duty of a writer is to enlighten the society through his writing. At the same time be also believes that a writer should take up the theme which no one else has ever handled. “It seems to me that there’s really very little point in writing novel unless you do something that either you suspected you couldn’t do, or which you are pretty certain nobody else has tried before. I don’t think there is any point in writing two books that are like each other.” (Golding)

III. Existentialism: A View of One’s “Own World”

Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre were noted for their contribution to raising the existentialist ideals to the public. Having a notion that humans exist first and then each individual spends their life shaping and finding the true essence or nature of man, Existentialism gives us a picture of a man creating his own world, where no one must penetrate and alter. It is he who holds and decides whether his world will go this or that way. In simpler terms, Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with man finding meaning to his life and him finding true self, all of which can be attained through free will, choice and personal responsibility. An existentialist believes that a person should be forced to choose, and be responsible...

References: Free Fall; William Golding; September 1967, Pocket Book edition; Harcourt, Brace and world, USA.
B. R. Johnson ; "Golding 's First Argument: Theme and Structure in Free Fall" (PDF File)
Higdon, David Leon: Time and English Fiction, Basingstoke/ London bn1977 (PDF File)
O 'Donell, Patrick:"Journeying the Centre: Time, Pattern, and Transcendence in William Golding 's 'Free Fall ' ", Ariel 11 (1980) 3, 83-98. (PDF File)
Web Reference:
http://philosophynow.org/issues/32/Existentialism_and_Literature
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