The Absurd Rebel on an Imaginary Rock

By Nabeel Abdulrazaq Jalil, Arbaayah Ali Termizi and Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In his novel Pincher Martin, William Golding places his protagonist, Pincher Martin, in an extreme situation where the lines between reality and imagination are blurred. The result is that the protagonist’s struggles for his existence verges on the absurd. Still it is not a story for mere fantasy. Golding is known to convey a moral lesson in his novels (Surrete 1994), and Pincher Martin is certainly no exception. The struggle of the protagonist can be seen as a story about human existence and the absurd struggle in life against death. The protagonist becomes a representative of the human individual faced with the realization of his own mortality and the absurdity of his life. These are themes which existentialist writers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus addresses in their philosophy, as Whitehead points out (1971). However, Whitehead’s approach is to look at the novel through the Sartrean psychological concept of imagination which makes the protagonist struggle an outcome of mere fantasy. To examine the existential dilemma of the protagonist and his absurd struggle against death, this paper proposes to uses Albert Camus’ philosophical concepts of the absurd and absurd rebellion to look at the novel in a new light.

Keywords: Pincher Martin, Existentialism, Absurdity, Absurd Rebellion, William Golding, Albert Camus

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.187-196. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 976.140KB).

Nabeel Abdulrazaq Jalil

PhD Candidate, English Department, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Nabil A. Jalil is currently working on his PhD thesis on the application of existentialism theory in selected literary works. It is hoped that his participation in this conference will give him the opportunity to share his findings.

Dr. Arbaayah Ali Termizi

Senior Lecturer, English Language Department, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Arbaayah Ali Termizi (PhD) is currently a senior lecturer with the English Department of Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her main research interest lies in areas related to Shakespeare’s studies particularly in the illustrations of texts and staging aspects of the plays. In addition she is also interested in studies related to incorporating the art of drama performances in the teaching of Shakespeare’s texts.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya

Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is involved in several researches dealing with literature & culture, psychoanalysis & literature, literature in ESL, and diasporic literature.


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