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A Comparative Analysis Of The Boar’s Head Scene From Golding’s Lord Of The Flies And The Grove Scene From Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness

1454 words - 6 pages

Mankind is a species, a timeline, and even an idea. Many over the years have tried to put a direct definition to mankind, and they don’t get very far. It is impossible to cram the essence of human beings into one sentence. There are so many different elements that go into being human that are different for every person on earth. One thing is for sure: there is a series of actions that each person will take, or a series of events that will encompass each person’s life that are similar throughout humanity. This is known as the Human Condition. Literature is often based upon the Human Condition, and authors or poets or professors will write about it in covert ways, so the reader doesn’t ...view middle of the document...

The loss of control in Lord of the Flies comes from the rest of the boys on the island turning on one another. In the Boar’s Head scene, Simon is faced with the horror of a boar’s head that the boys killed previously. It is rotting, and its jaw hangs open, appearing to grin at the boy. Simon, who has moved away from the group, knows he has lost all control of his situation on the island, and is dazed when coming upon the rotting pig’s head. The dead flesh is a reminder to Simon of how much he has failed himself. The scene speaks to the inevitability of the Human Condition occurring in anyone’s life.
Heart of Darkness, like Lord of the Flies, has a scene in which the main character comes across a horrific scene, and is confronted with loss of control. The Grove scene of the book is just as eerie as the Boar’s Head scene of Lord of the Flies, but it utilizes a different dying animal, man. The main character, Marlow, stumbles across a grove near the settlement of the Company he is to work for. In this grove are dozens of people, slaves of the Company, waiting to die. They literally have been worked to death. When they can no longer work due to age, starvation, or disease, they are allowed to leave to find a place to die. “They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now-nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom.” (Pg. 24) The place where they all go is the grove Marlow comes across. When he approaches, most of the dying don’t even look at him. Ones that do don’t seem to see him. This scene doesn’t attest to the loss of control on Marlow’s part, but on the part of the Company. He realizes how mistreated these native people are, and it shakes him up. The loss of control on the part of the Company comes from too much power, and they abuse that power.
Isolation is another theme of the Human Condition, and, in Lord of the Flies, isolation is what Simon finds when he comes across the boar’s head. Before the boar’s head is discovered by Simon, he is trying to figure a way to patch things up with the other boys. He wonders at the possibility of just waltzing into the camp, laughing it all off, and rejoining the others. “You were just wrong, that’s all. A little headache, something you ate, perhaps. Go back, child, said the head silently.” (Pg. 137) This doesn’t seem totally absurd until he is slapped in the face by the truth when he comes across the gruesome sight of the boar’s head stuck on a spear, jutting out of the ground. In that moment, he realized there was no way of rejoining the others. He realizes that he is totally and completely alone; isolated. The fear of isolation present in Simon is, or has been, present in every person. Humans are social creatures, and while some isolation is tolerable, endless isolation will send a person into a psychotic...

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