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Shvoong Home>Books>Jocelin - a Mystical Characters in William Golding's Novels Review

Jocelin - a Mystical Characters in William Golding's Novels

Book Review   by:boracel06     Original Author: William Golding
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William Golding writes about characters and features that can be differently interpreted from a reader to another. This is one of the main characteristics of the modernism and postmodernism - the author lets the reader imagine whatever he/she wants; he (the author) is not omniscient but he lets his characters act according to their will.
The characters of Golding's novels are of different types but the main feature they have is religious. There are plenty of religious and also mystical characters in his work and they are very well illustrated: Jocelin, Matty, Nat, Simon, etc.
The Spire, one of the masterpieces of Golding, has as the central character Jocelin, a true mystic. Jocelin is the most representative mystical figure of all. He lives many experiences that a mystic usually lives. He considers himself a visionary and “a would – be mystic”
. His way of experiencing things seems closely akin to that of a mystic: he sees and hears things, and he trusts these visionary perceptions or insights. This disposition for mystic experience which he reinforces by adopting the usage of the mystics seems appropriate for a fourteenth century Dean.
He accepts the pain and suffering his purgation entails. He is granted more than one vision, and the last one is so incomprehensible, so glorious and so fascinating, that he cannot find language to convey it, a dilemma every true mystic has had to face, if his mystic experience exceeds the capacity of expression of human language. When he awakens from this “dream” his pride as well as his faith is lost. In his fight with those unknown forces, he is compared with Jacob who fought with God, even if the experience is different. Elizabeth Jennings stated: “one is never absolutely sure whether Jocelin is possessed by a devil or merely mad…He is a tempted visionary, a manic depressive, an obsessive.” (Listener, 9 April, 1964).
Published: December 06, 2007   
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