Analysis Of Peter Jackson's "Lord Of The Rings" And William Golding's "Lord Of The Flies" In Relation To The Speculative Fiction Genre

1851 words - 7 pages

As composers are continually and inescapably influenced by the world surrounding them, genres are born that reflect the social, moral and political ideologies of the time. Through an understanding of how genre is determined, it becomes apparent that the values and ideological assumptions encompassed by Speculative Fiction texts are the product of the context in which they were produced. Peter Jackson's film of JRR Tolkien's classic text "The Lord of the Rings" and William Golding's novel The Lord of the Flies exemplify the conventions of the Speculative Fiction genre and demonstrate how the values of such texts change according to the ideological climate of the time.Genre can be defines as a cultural invention. Where you find a social paradigm shift, a genre is constructed or modified. It is determined by the complexity and diversity of society- it shapes and is shaped by cultural attitudes, social influences and the dominant ideology of the time. Speculative fiction can be a collective term to describe works of science fiction, fantasy and dystopic fiction and creates a world where anything can happen- where the responder is taken beyond reality to a place that could have, would have or may be- if only the physics of the universe were different. Pushing the boundaries of the imagination, it displays the best of humanity- the imagination and the sharing of it with others, the greatness such a race can have, the courage and hope present within all of us.Speculative composers ask us to imagine alternative worlds, which challenge and provoke controversy and debate about possibilities in human experience. Lord of the Flies is an unfortunate account of a world in which present tendencies are carried out to their intensely unpleasant culminations, making it a dystopic text.Lord of the Rings is clearly a fantasy film which presents the alternate world of Middle Earth, complete with its own mythology, history and legends, acting metonymically as an enunciator of dominate ideology and social myths.Written in 1954 at the height of the Cold War, Lord of the Flies is a reaction to the devastation caused by WWII and the Grand Narrative solutions that characterised the Modernist movement. Communism, Fascism and Nazism as embodied by the totalitarian states, provide the basis for Golding's disbelief in the perfectibility of social man as he discovered what one man could do to another. The atrocities perpetrated during the Second World War influenced Golding's rejection of a Humanist viewpoint that claims individual human experience is responsible for one's understanding of society and the world in general. Rather, the 19th and 20th Centuries spread mistaken ideas concerning the nature of man with man's capacity for greed, his innate cruelness and selfishness hidden behind a pair of political pants. The opening sequences of Lord of the Flies depicts the war torn context with the dropping of bombs and establishes the text as a vehicle for voicing concerns over...

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