Analysis of Novels of William Golding |
This novel is an imaginative reconstruction of the life of a band ofNeanderthals. It is written in such a way that the reader might assume thegroup to be modern Homo sapiens asthey gesture and speak simply among themselves, and bury their dead withheartfelt, solemn rituals. They also have powerful sense impressions andfeelings, and appear sometimes to share thoughts in a near-telepathic way. Asthe novel progresses it becomes more and more apparent that they live verysimply, using their considerable mental abilities to connect to one anotherwithout extensive vocabulary or the kinds of memories that create culture. Theyhave wide knowledge of food sources, mostly roots and vegetables. They chasehyaenas from a larger beast's kill and eat meat, but they don't kill mammalsthemselves. They have a spiritual system centring on a female principle ofbringing forth, but their lives are lived so much in the present that thereader realizes they are very different from us, living in something like aneternal present, or at least a present broken and shaped by seasons.