Pincher Martin’s Insatiable Nature
In William Golding’s novel Pincher Martin the audience is presented with Christopher Hadley Pincher Martin, who is currently serving in the British Royal Navy as a temporary naval lieutenant during the time of the Second World War. The British destroyer where he was stationed at the starting pages of the novel was a target of a sudden German torpedo attack. After the event the protagonist was the only one to survive, but he did not live for long as the freezing water soon finished him off. Martin’s civil life will be revealed to the readers through several flashbacks to his past, these recollections will expose his insatiable hunger to us.
The readers soon discover that Christopher Hadley Pincher Martin was a cruel and moody person throughout his whole life with his ever-growing hunger for needs, desires. William Golding made a clever hint with the name of his protagonist; it is uncommon in the military that people receive nicknames for their names. In the protagonist’s case “Pincher” is a clear suggestion towards his inner selfishness and vile nature. One can get a better understanding for the protagonist’s actions and behaviour through his recollection of his past life. Christopher’s best friend, Nathaniel was the exact contrary of his character. On the one hand Nathaniel was symbolizing as one of the seven heavenly virtues, chastity he was the representation of abstinence. It was a good reason for Christopher to attempt to rape Nathaniel’s wife Mary. However we do not discover if the act actually happened or not, still the intent of the rape was there nevertheless.
On the other hand, Christopher was symbolizing one of the seven deadly sins none other than greed. This was one of the reasons the protagonist looked down on him in every way, and therefore he was plotting to murder his friend on the destroyer. Coincidentally he was also selected by his producer Pete to play the role of greed; Martin’s producer thinks he would be an excellently match his personal traits. In front of the readers another misconduct unfolds that the protagonist was seducing the producer’s wife to cheat on him in front of his back.
Christopher’s greedy consciousness creates an otherworldly purgatorial rock for him on the Atlantic Ocean where he can ‘stay alive’ even after his death. He continues his metaphysical existence on the rock which one may discover that the so called rock it, might be his own tooth that aches in his mouth. The author’s depiction of the protagonist’s recollections entraps the readers into the mind-set of Martin. The protagonist struggle for his survival is never-ending such as his ever-growing hunger for power and desires, which drives him into agony, insanity and he slowly descends into the abyss. He as an intelligent person reverts back to his instinctual barbarian nature just over a couple of days.
The reading of the novel places the audience into depression never-ending suffering and a feel of uneasiness throughout the novel. This would be the case with everyone who experiences an event like this one. It only shows Golding’s superb knowledge of human nature.