(Re)writing history in
William Golding, Pincher Martin
English teacher MA
William Golding’s novel Pincher Martin is a reversal of Taffrail’s Pincher Martin O.D.: A Story of the Inner Life of the Royal Navy and Ambrose Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Golding rewrote history with a scene which is more familiar with his memories than the narratives of World War I. or the Civil War.
After I read William Golding’s Pincher Martin and realized that I had to write a resource paper in the theme of rewriting history in this text I felt myself empty. As I tried to figure out what have I read I found several interpretation of this work but they did not fit to my conceptions or to say my ideas. Many scholars wrote several critical essays and resource papers on this story and of course they focused on several different things but rewriting history.
According to Christopher James – who won the national poetry competition in 2009 – this novel is: “Essentially it’s Robinson Crusoe meets Bear Grylls meets Life of Pi set in the 1940s and in the bleakest possible surroundings.”(James). That is one side of this multi shaped coin.
After this I searched further interpretation of the text and I found Howard Babb’s words who said that many critics found this novel Golding’s most challenging book (Babb 65). So here I thought I have walked into a jungle and there is no way out.
The text itself was quite interesting and enchanted me from the opening scene to the last. What causes this enchantment? Maybe L.L. Dickinson grabs the core when he writes the following: “Like Golding’s first two novels, Pincher Martin combines the factual with the fabular, the mythic with the realistic, and contains a moral allegory portraying Martin’s self made purgatory.”(Dickinson 42). This is the second side the moral issues and inside struggle. That is not my business.
These voices directs me towards that idea that I hardly can find any trace of rewriting...