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Friday, February 3, 2012

lord of flies

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LORD OF THE FLIES/RITE OF PASSAGE


Section 1-Theme


Lord of the flies, written by William Golding, is a suspenseful and entertaining novel that relates a lot with the book that I’ve read called Rite of Passage by Richard Wright. Both of their contents compare to each other in many cases. On keeping with several of Wrights black hero’s, Johnny is jolted out of his innocence into the stark realization of the world as a hostile place, when he escapes from home, and is on his own. This theme in the novel is extremely similar to the theme in Lord of the Flies, when a group of boys get violent on an island where no adults live. They both revolve around the theme of evil. Such as in both, the main characters/ character loose their innocence during the entrance to reality in the world and what it’s all about. The difference although is the fact that a part of Rite of Passage deals with racism as its form of evil, whereas in Lord of the Flies, it’s more about power or survival of the fittest and violence. “Somehow it feels better” Skinkie one of the black kids in Rite of passage said . When he spoke those words he was answering Johnny, the main characters question about mugging white people rather than black. “But the island was scorched up like dead wood-Simon was dead..” We see here, that at the end of the book, evil shows itself, as the way the boys finally leave the island.


Section -Development


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As said in section 1, evil, taking part as the theme in both of the novels, compare and contrast to each other in both of the books. A good way, in which I am able to explain this, is through two literary elements, such as character and setting. I’ve decided to chose Jack Merridew as my character from Lord of the Flies and Johnny Gibbs as the character in Rite of Passage. Jack Merridew is known as the chief of the leader on the island. Jack compares to Johnny in some ways but not all. Jack is described by Golding as tall, thin, and bony; and his hair was red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. Out of this face stared two light blue eyes, frustrated now, and turning, or ready to turn, to anger. Jack is the leading advocate of anarchy on the island. Jack is the leader of the savage tribe which hunts the pigs. He supports the notion that one’s desires are most important and should be followed, regardless of reason or morals. Jack is the kind of person which Golding believed everyone would eventually become if left alone to set one’s own standards and live the way one naturally wanted. Golding believed that the natural state of humans is chaos and that man is inherently evil. When reason is abandoned, only the strong survive. Jack personifies this idea perfectly. He is domineering and lacks restraint at times. He does have leadership; it’s almost as if he is “power hungry”. The conflict that arises between Jack, is with another character named Ralph, about who will be leader. Id say that in my opinion Jack is a dynamic character because the seeds of evil were always there to begin with. Even though he does in fact become as one would say “eviler”, this is only but in degree not in kind. As for Jack’s credibility, he could easily represent what a person could really be like. It’s very credible for everyone to become savage, especially when freedom comes around.


Johnny Gibbs, is a 15 year old boy, he is black skinned, does well in school and is very well behaved. He is found to be a “good and happy boy” according to Wright. But this was only at the beginning, before Johnny had learned what was really out there, in the open world, where he was all alone. “The world was rosy and happy” Indeed, it was until the loss of his innocence while he lived on the streets after running away from home. This for one is something that compares to Lord of the Flies, when the boys received their freedom on the island. There are a couple of conflicts in this book, but the one that is most important to me would probably be the conflict between Johnny and himself. Whether or not he should let himself go and become some one else, whether or not he should let his evil take over and whether or not he should join some street friends and their acts of mugging and stealing In order to survive on the streets. This certainly contrasts with the conflicts in Lord of the Flies, where the conflict is mainly all the time between boys and their abuse with each other whether emotionally or physically. In my opinion, in contrast as well to Lord of the Flies, Johnny upholds a trait of being a static character. In the beginning of the book Johnny was in fact opposite what he had become in the end. Although evil lurks in every one of us from scratch, the change was so drastic that it makes us think this way about him. Finally, Johnny, in comparison with Jack, is also a credible character because this is something that can for sure happen in real life. Kid leaves home, lives on the street, and isn’t sheltered anymore. The environment he is now in is going to change him. This happens in every day life, in the past in the present and will most likely happen as well in the future.


Secondly, the setting of any book is certainly very important. It makes us more involved in the book, as well as more aware of what’s happening. It makes us feel like we are inside the book and it expands our imagination.


The setting in Lord of the Flies, of when the boys first arrived on the island, is a beautiful place, a paradise… that gave us the impression of silence, and peace. Just like in the beginning of Rite of Passage, When Wright says “About him the boys and girls whistled, jumping Jupiter, he was free till Monday” happy atmosphere equals enjoyable plot. Although later on in the book Lord of the Flies, Golding’s whole “paradise” idea, gets destroyed into a disgusting a horrible dirty atmosphere. That was when things started to get worse and worse. “Then the clouds opened and let down the rain like a waterfall. The water bounded from the mountain top, tore leaves and branches from trees, poured like cold water over the struggling heap on the sand” This stormy weather was only a bit before the killing of Simon occurred. It is warning us and letting us know that something bad is going to happen.


Section -


As I finalize this report, I would like to say that I definitely found Goldings concept of evil more convincing, because in his novel its shows gradual change as the evil gets worse and worse until some body actually dies. Where as in Rite of Passage, the concept of evil is shown in a less obvious way such as racism on the streets, and stealing money or mugging people. Evil, in Lord of Flies is shown through out the who time, whether through emotional abuse , physical abuse or just violence. “Maybe it’s just us..” one of the boys said. He was surely right. It was only them. It was them without rules.


After reading that book we should all be able to realize that with out rules and laws the evil inside all of us is bound to come out, the temptation is just too strong.





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