Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Lord of the Flies vs Lake at the End of the World

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Compare and contrast the two novels you have studied.

There are many differences and similarities between Goldings Lord of the Flies and Macdonalds Lake at the End of the World.

One major similarity is the commonality of theme, fear. Both Lord of the Flies and Lake at the End of the World deal with an element of fear.

In Lord of the Flies, the children are afraid of the beast. The beast is an unknown source of evil which lurks on the island and all the children fear that it will kill them. An example of this is where Jack and his hunters put a pig head on a stick and leave it as an offering to the beast, in hope that it will leave them alone. Jack says to his tribe, This head is for the beast. Its a gift. (p.170) Also, towards the end, Piggy and Ralph feared Jack and his tribe, because they had turned into savages.

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The element of fear also plays a part in the Lake at the End of the World. The survivors underground and the Redfern family live in constant fear of the illness. The illness has wiped out all existence on Earth, except for the people underground and the Redfern family, and has also poisoned the waterways. An example of the fear of the illness is the fact that any person that is a stranger is expected to have the illness, which is the case where Hector was thought to have it by the Redfern family and Hector had assumed they would have it. This is shown where Beth is asking about the rest of Hectors settlement and says, All dead, no doubt, from the illness, and you left alone, and you have to come and bring it here to us. (p.48)

Another theme that Lord of the Flies deals with is isolation and its effect on the community. When the children found themselves isolated on the island, they created rules and elected a chief. They also made goals and assigned jobs. This community worked out well for a while, and the children were very hopeful of being rescued, but as the time wore on, things went wrong, such as the fire burning out. This led to more problems and eventually, little hope of being rescued. The fact that they werent being rescued led to many of them going a little crazy. Piggy said to Ralph, If we dont get home soon well go barmy. (p.0)

Similarly, in Lake at the End of the World, there are two isolated communities. The underground community is totally isolated from the outside world, but the people have been deceived into thinking there is nothing left outside their underground colonisation. This is shown when a member of the underground community asks about the outside world, Is it really still there? (p.181) The Redfern family is also isolated, but not because of deception, simply because there is no one else there. The Redfern family is not unlike the children from Lord of the Flies, in that like the stranded childrens desperate attempt to keep the fire going, to get rescued, Diana also desperately called the other settlements each night, trying to be rescued from their isolation.

In Lord of the Flies, there is a struggle for power, where Ralph is elected chief, but Jack rebels against him, because he wants to be chief. It is obvious that Ralph would make a better chief, but in the end, Jacks lies about Ralph and the fun of hunting and being a tribe win over most of the boys and Jack becomes chief. This is established when the boys follow Jack and he says Well hunt. Im going to be chief. (p.165)

In contrast, Lake at the End of the World does not deal with a struggle for power, but the opposite. In the underground community, the Counsellor has unchallenged power over the whole colonisation. The people see him as their ruler without question. An example of this is when the people wouldnt go the outside world because they knew the Counsellor wouldnt let them. The people had grown so dependent on the Counsellor, that when he died, they just elected another one- Jessyn, one of the underground community said, So you are now the Counsellor, Hector. When they found out about the death of their ruler. (p. 181)

Lord of the Flies is a novel that can be seen as a utopia and a dystopia. At the beginning, the boys saw the island as a temporary utopia, where they were free to do as they wished, without the interference of parents. They played games and had fun, expecting to be rescued soon. Building shelters, swimming, hunting and exploring kept them happy and they felt proud because they had their own rules and chief. However, the fact that no one came to rescue them resulted in them gradually forgetting or not caring about rules or humanities. This led to rebellion and eventually, savagery on the island, which would be seen as a dystopia. They were savages, it was true…. (p.8)

Similarly, Lake at the End of the World can also be seen as both a utopia and dystopia. The underground community seems to be a dystopia in the fact that there is a seemingly mad tyrant running the community, where the people have no control or freedom. However, to the people of the colonisation, it may seem like a utopia, where they have sanctuary from the illness and have access to many facilities. Also because many of the people had never known anything else, this can be seen when Hector is telling Diana and her mother about the underground community, ..Its very pleasant down there. I liked it…And anyway, Id always lived there. I didnt think about living anywhere else. (p.8) and also, And its safe, nobodys ever died underground. Ever. (p.8)

There are many differences between the literary features of the two novels. Lord of the Flies is being narrated by third person. Another major literary feature of Lord of the Flies is the fact that it deals with a lot of symbolism. Particularly the conch which seemed to represent order.

In contrast, Lake at the End of the Worlds main literary feature is the way the story is narrated. The fact that the novel is written in the style of two peoples views (Dianas and Hectors) means that it gives two different perspectives on the story.

In conclusion, there are many similarities and differences when comparing the two novels Lord of the Flies and Lake at the End of the World. These similarities and differences exist when examining the themes and literary features.

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