The authors of “I Only Came to use the Phone” and Lord of the Flies show that human nature is to be corrupt and savage. In both texts the authors use juxtaposition to show how characters in both stories effectively personify these characteristics, either by being placed in situations they are not accustomed to, or by being in power and abusing it. In “I Only Came to Use the Phone” Maria is juxtaposed against the matrons to show corruption and savagery throughout the insane asylum. In Lord of the Flies, however, Jack is juxtaposed against Ralph and Piggy to demonstrate the savagery and corruption that can is seen in Jack’s character. The juxtaposition created in Lord of the Flies is used also by the author to produce a sense that the boys are going to resort to savage, primitive behaviors to cope on the island, which they do.
Juxtaposition is seen early on in “I Only Came to Use the Phone” when Maria is first admitted into the sanitorium, and it is portrayed as a seemingly nice place to be when she is in the room with the doctor:
“Now is the time to cry to your heart’s content,” The doctor said in a soporific voice. “Tears are the best medicine.” Maria unburdened herself without shame, as she had never been able to do with her casual lovers in the empty times that followed lovemaking… This was, for the first time in her life, the miracle of being understood by a man who listened to her with all his heart and did not expect to go to bed with her as a reward. (76)
This quote is juxtaposed from the first time Maria set foot in the asylum. The matrons are shown as very powerful, but also corrupted. Here however, the asylum seems to be a sweet place to be that will cater to Maria and her needs, which is not the case.
Juxtaposition is again later used in the story by Marquez to show the corruption of the matrons in the asylum. One of the matrons, in fact, who tries to take advantage of Maria says when Maria refuses her: “’You bitch!…We’ll rot together in the hellhole until you go crazy for me.’ Summer arrived without warning on the first Sunday in June…”(85). The change from the intense threat of the matron to the idea of summer, a time of happiness and relaxation, demonstrates juxtaposition by highlighting the matron’s words and then quickly changing the subject. Marquez does this to make the reader see the irony in the corruption of the matron. The matron, someone who is supposed to help Maria, ends up hurting her for her own personal gain.
Marquez uses juxtaposition another time to show the savagery of the same matron who tries to take advantage of Maria. He shows this by having her threaten Maria’s life:
Maria’s price, which she demanded in advance, was that the matron send a message to her husband. The matron agreed, on the condition that their dealings be kept an absolute secret. And she pointed an inexorable forefinger at her. “If they ever find out, you die.” And so, on the following Saturday, Saturno the Magician drove to the asylum for...