The television show Lost, on ABC, is quite similar to Lord of the Flies. Lost is about a group of people who are shipwrecked on a mysterious island. They are adults, but their interactions are a lot like the children’s in the book. There are many fights and conflicts between the characters on Lost. There is a leader and someone else who believes he should be the leader, like Ralph and Jack. In fact, one character even hunts pigs! There is even a monster on the island on Lost and it scares the characters. Lost has a lot more fantasy elements than Lord of the Flies, but they’re still very similar stories.
There are a number of books that deal with “civilized” European characters trapped on deserted islands. One of the first was Robinson Crusoe, written in 1719 by Daniel Defoe. About 100 years later, Johann Wyss wrote The Swiss Family Robinson, about an entire family stranded on an island in the South Pacific. Interestingly, William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies partly in response to these books and an 1857 boys’ adventure novel called The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne. Why? Because the books presented the European characters as morally and intellectually superior to the native people they encounter. The natives are often depicted as violent, warlike cannibals who must be “civilized” and converted to Christianity. In Lord of the Flies, it is the European characters who are violent and warlike in spite of their supposedly “civilized” upbringing.
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