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A Comparison Of Lord Of The Flies By William Golding To Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

2774 words - 11 pages

A Comparison of Lord of the Flies by William Golding to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Works Cited Missing I compared the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding to Heart of
Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The novels contain a great deal in common
and the similarities between these two novels begin with their
authors. The personal experiences of both Golding and Conrad
encouraged them to write their novels. William Golding was greatly
influenced by the violence and cruelty he witnessed during WWII, which
forced him to realize the innate evil in man and his disgusted view of
human nature is reflected in Lord of the Flies. Joseph Conrad's
experiences commanding a steamboat down the Belgian Congo showed him
man's capacity for evil and Conrad used his experiences as an outline
for Heart of Darkness. The result is that both novels explore the
central themes of civilization versus savagery, man's inhumanity to
man, man's capacity for evil, and the desire for power.

Both Conrad and Golding believed in the idea that all human beings
have a dark side that is kept in touch by civilization and their
novels showed what would happen if a man was isolated from
civilization long, enough to begin ignoring the morals that society
had enforced upon him. His civilized instincts would begin to compete
with his savage instincts to form the conflict between civilization
and savagery, which is a major theme in both Lord of the Flies and
Heart of Darkness. Jack is one character whose civilized instincts
compete with his savage instincts but it isn't long before his savage
instincts take over because there is no one on the island that can
stop him from doing what ever he wants. One instance where Jack
struggles with the urge to abide by the rules of civilization and the
urge to give into savagery is on page 31 where Ralph, Jack, and Simon
find a pig caught in creepers and just as Jack draws his knife and
raises his arm, his civilized instincts stop him and the pig gets
away. When Jack is asked why he didn't kill the pig, it reads "They
knew very well why he hadn't: because of the enormity of the knife
descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable
blood". Also, Jack's promise that "next time" he will go for the kill
foreshadows how he will let his savage instincts take over. Roger also
demonstrates the theme of civilization versus savagery on page 62 when
he is throwing stones at the littluns it reads, "Roger gathered a
handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space
around Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter,...

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