Lord of the Flies, Coral Island and the Role of Adults - Essay

Topics: Robert Michael Ballantyne, The Coral Island, World War II Pages: 4 (1558 words) Published: November 9, 2012
It is known that to fully appreciate the novel “Lord of the Flies” (1954) by William Golding (1911-1993) it is necessary to have read Robert Michael Ballantyne’s (1825-1894) “Coral Island” (1858), or at least to understand its theme and treatment. And so, since it was Golding’s intention to set himself to write an island story that deliberately challenged Ballantyne’s model in “Coral Island” -by inverting its assumptions and values- we can explore multiple angles from which the two novels can be compared and studied. An item which seems quite interesting when analysing both texts is that one related to civilization and its adult exponents. After a thorough reading and focusing on very clear and specific elements we happen to notice the differences -as well as some similarities- among the roles and the significance of these adult characters in each novel.

We will first refer to Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”, in which there are various examples of the complexity of the adult figure. But we must first refer to Golding’s own experience at war in order to get a clearer picture of his position towards our central concern. From the first years of his life, he faced the atrocities of war when he took part in the Second World War by joining the British Navy at 1940. The war, as a physical result, changed a lot Golding's view of life. He could not believe in man's innocence any longer. He found that even the children are not innocent. No one is innocent. The ideas of W.Golding's view of human nature can be found in almost any of Golding's books and particularly, in his first and most famous book, "Lord of the flies" 1. So, let us now focus on the novel itself. At a moment of uncertainty-anguish the boys beg desperately for a signal from the world of grown-ups:

(“Grown-ups know things” said Piggy. “They ain’t afraid of the dark. They’d meet and have tea and discuss. Then things ‘ud be all right---” “They wouldn’t set fire to the island. Or lose----”
“They’d build a...
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