The Condition of Man in The Heart of Darkness and The Lord of the Flies.
His nature is sinful and his state perilous-(Golding, "Fable-, The Hot Gates and Other Occasional Pieces, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1965, page 61). This quote by William Golding sums up his view of the soul of mankind. This feeling is shared by many authors, especially modern ones. In his book The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad explores man's inner darkness as he travels through the Congo in search of another trader named Kurtz. Later he relates his dark, hopeless story to a group of friends. In the book The Lord of the Flies, William Golding relates the story of a group of English school boys stranded on an island. The island paradise quickly collapses into a chaotic, horrible scene. The two books share a great deal in common, especially in tone and theme. The stories The Heart of Darkness and The Lord of the Flies, through their dark, hopeless, and horrible descriptions of life, present the common theme that man, at his heart, is an evil, violent, and "fallen- being.
William Golding's own experiences with a devastated world led in part to the dark picture of humanity painted in his novel. William Golding was born in St. Columb Minor in Cornwall, England. He started to write at age seven, but ended up studying science at Brasenose College, Oxford. During World War II he served in the Royal Navy as commander of a rocket ship. During the war, he experienced firsthand man's inner savagery. After the war, he was left to ponder the hideous atrocities committed by Nazi Germany. Eventually, the war destroyed his faith in humanity itself. ("William Golding (1911-1993), http://www.kirjasto.isc i.fi/wGolding.htm). In The Lord of the Flies, the boys are stranded on an island after being evacuated from a war zone. As Ralph and Piggy first meet, Piggy realizes the grim consequences of the war. "' They're all dead,"" said Piggy, "an' this is an island.