Foreshadowing of Aggression in a Misinterpreted Relationship

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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The opening of the extract reveals that the relationship between the pair may not be mutual, and may appear to Goody to be threatening. This becomes apparent through the way in which her movements are described as being "brisk" yet "without much will to go forward". This provokes the reader to fathom that there is some sort of aggressive energy between the duo, particularly when coupled with the projected image of "open terror" in her face. This may seem to be Golding's method by which to foreshadow any abusive occurrences yet to come such as rape or violence.

However, this whilst it may initially appear to be an abusive situation for Goody is infact quite the opposite as it is later revealed that her timid actions are not due to fear of an aggressor, but due to the "tent" which is said to be "feared" by them both. This "tent" as it is described is an invisible bond between the two, much like the "rope" which once tethered together Jocelin and Pangall. This bond however, unlike that between the two priests is almost self-enforcing as it confines them with each other and is described as having "shut them off" from the other characters.

As this union between them is said to be "shut" it implies that the relationship is intended to remain private, which is unsurprising given the ideas and values of the time and their surroundings as it would be deemed strictly improper for this relationship to continue within the sanctity of the cathedral, and in particular is between two married people which even by modern standards is considered a taboo and so bears considerable stigma.

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The "tent" forms a palpable enclosure of secrecy in which the pair may act as they wish without being exposed, however the opaque exterior of the "tent" does not necessarily prevent their discovery as it has no barrier for sound, and under close and suspicious scrutiny becomes transparent, revealing their scandal. The "fear" expressed by Goody Pangall may also be a sign of guilt as it would be truly shameful for her affair to be unveiled, particularly by her husband. Also, the relationship between the pair is most likely based upon a physical attraction derived from the base instinct, lust.

As such, the timing for the emergence of their relationship lends itself willingly to the overall plot as the stench of stagnant water and death emitted by the pit is symbolic of the Freudian id, as it is taken to be the more concealed and inviolable facet of the church due to its disruptive and disconcerting nature. As such, the surfacing of this illegitimate relationship has been timed well as it, like the stench is also likely to disrupt the already crumbling church community. Golding uses many alternative and diverse methods with which to present the affiliation between the couple.

In this extract alone, he employs many techniques to present and investigate their association. The first apparent method is that of scrutinising observation from a distance, typically presented through the eyes of Jocelin, in a manner which literally means that the reader sees the world through his eyes. This is almost to be expected as Golding uses Jocelin as the focal point or foundation upon which the rest of the novel's extreme depth and vision is constructed throughout the book. In this manner, the reader is introduced to the affair through the reactions and indignation of Jocelin.

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However, Jocelin's reactions must be taken with a hint of caution as it is obvious that he personally lusts after her and so is jealous of Pangall and now of Roger as his earlier comments such as "she is entirely woman" would indicate. However, it may be believed that the relationship is revealed or perhaps foreshadowed prior to the point of this extract as Jocelin forces the images to the back of his mind and so refuses to focus upon their implications, which allows him to evade any in depth thought or interpretation of previous situations which the reader may now link to the affair.

Another method which Golding uses to present the relationship is simply that of narrative observation. This is employed towards the climax of the extract as the reader is no longer seeing the world from within Jocelin, but is being shown his reactions to it in order to interpret its meanings and implications. The relationship is clear and obvious in its existence and to Jocelin must have clear meanings as it is stated that "a strange certainty fell on Jocelin" as he spied upon the pair's private meeting.

In a somewhat removed and malignant manner, the climax of the relationship between the pair may prophesise and so foreshadows the end for Jocelin. This is due to the manner in which the death or eventual murder of Goody coupled with the severing of Jocelin from all other members of the church body such as Pangall as the "rope" which once "bound" them together has since been "cut", even prior to his disappearance. In this manner it seems that all of Jocelin's "old friends" now scorn or cease contact with him as a result of his blinding ambition.

As such, once Goody is no longer alive for Jocelin to lust after and all others have deserted him, the eventual end of his life cannot be far off. Golding therefore uses an intense and diverse array of methods through which to display and enhance every facet of the relationship. As such allowing it to be interpreted and moulded by the reader so that it may be deemed to signify, any meanings ranging from the pedestrian to the fantastic.

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Foreshadowing of Aggression in a Misinterpreted Relationship. (2017, Aug 25). Retrieved from

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