1984 Lord of the Flies

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Connor Quinn
5/17/12
Ms. Freedman
Honors English III
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, and 1984, By George Orwell, both portray the power of the government and the revolts that develop, while expressing a different nature of fear. Both books have a strong government possessing power and control over all the citizens. The novels compare in expressing fear but, contrast in showing completely divergent types of fear. Each piece of literature displays jealousy and hatred towards the government which leads to revolts. Furthermore, in the book, Lord of the Flies, one boy, Ralph, rules over several boys while they are stranded on an island. The books Lord of the Flies and 1984 both have communities with an overruling government using extreme power. Lord of the Flies is about twenty boys who are stranded with no adult authority on a deserted island after their plane crashes. One of the oldest boys at the age of twelve, Ralph, becomes chief because he holds the conch shell and the boys all agree to follow his orders. The book 1984 takes place in the totalitarian country of Oceania after World War II. This powerful country is under full control of their government known as The Party and all the citizens are watched throughout the day by telescreens placed all over their communities. In the Lord of the Flies, Ralph quickly declares himself chief and exerts his power on his fellow tribesmen in attempt of running an organized community. As chief, Ralph orders each of the boys a job to fulfill to make the community run smoothly. One of the boys, Jack, is in charge of keeping the fire lit and under control. Ralph’s powerfulness is expressed when Jack leaves the fire unattended as a ship passes the island. “Ralph pushes piggy to one side. “I was chief, and you are going to do what I said” (Golding 70). Once Ralph sees the ship at a distant from the island and realizes the fire is at a low ember he becomes outraged. He pushes piggy and demands Jack to obey his orders. Ralph knew it was crucial to keep the fire going to get the attention of the sailors on the ship. This was a missed opportunity by the boys and Ralph uses his power to make sure everyone executes their job. Ralph does not yell because he is arrogant, he uses his power to make sure the boys get home safely. Similarly, in 1984, the government is referred to as the Party and it has power over all the citizens. The telescreens are video cameras placed around the cities including inside everyone’s home. Also, the Party hangs propaganda around the cities to remind the citizens to obey all rules of The Party. In the beginning of the book the propaganda is explained as “The black-mustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house front immediately opposite. Big Brother Is Watching You, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into his own” (Orwell 2). Big Brother is the head of The Party and complete dictator of Oceania. These posters are used to remind the citizens they are being watched at all times. The propaganda used in the communities portrays the power of Big Brother and The Party. The posters are hung everywhere so the citizens are constantly faced with looking their dictator in the face. The books Lord of the Flies and1984 both portray a strong central government with a powerful dictator ruling over both communities. Virgina Tiger, professor and chair of English at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and an author of four books, is a critic on Lord of the Flies. Tiger said “Middle-class Ralph, with his boy scout skills, fair complexion, and sense of fair play, is the son of a naval officer, thus is he closely linked to Britain's past magisterial powers on the seas” (Tiger). In this quote she is characterizing Ralph. His father is a naval officer so he is closely linked to the powerful force of the British Navy. Tiger believes Ralph was declared leader because of the skills he possesses as well as his father’s strong...
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