The Beach By Alex Garland Essay, Research Paper
Jason Black The Beach by Alex Garland
“As for me… I’m fine. I have bad dreams, but I never saw Mister Duck again. I play video games. I smoke a little dope. I got my thousand yard stare. I carry a lot of scars. I like the way that sounds. I carry a lot of scars”
These are the words which Richard uses at the end of “The Beach” to summarize just how he feels after the experiences he had gone through during his time spent there. Just reading this conclusion alone instantly makes me feel that a lot has happened to this character which has changed the way his life was running until then. After reading the whole novel, I discovered that the events which caused this, not only made him change his thoughts on life, but also caused a breakdown of his mind which eventually lead to hime becoming insane. In this evaluation, I will investigate how Richard’s search for paradise eventually leads to the destuction of his sanity.
There are three main thems which I will deal with, the first being curiosity and ambition. This theme is mainly dealt with at the beginning of the novel as it is here that Richard finds out about the beach from the curious character, Mister Duck. It is in the first chapter “Bitch” that we discover that Richard is a backpacker and has been all over the world, not knowing where his next destination was going to be. This instantly creates a sense of discovery and curiosity as he was willing to go wherever he felt that he would discover something different from what he was used to back in England or wherever else he had been. When Richard is first told about the beach, he reacts in a way in which even although he was unsure about exactly what Mister Duck was talking about; he was already slightly curious about what the big deal about the beach was.
“I was curious, partly, just wanting to know what the big deal about what was with this beach of his”
As soon as he meets Francoise and Etienne, he has to tell them about the map and the beach as if he doesn’t think its right to keep it to himself. As if he would prefer to share this experience with other instead of alone. This may suggest that that even at the beginning, Richard was not strong enough to cope with this experience himself. Or perhaps he thought it would be selfish to keep it to himself. Whatever way it was, it showed that Richard