Destruction Caused By Fear In Lord Of The Flies And A Separate Peace

1218 words - 5 pages

Have you ever been so afraid for your life that you would do anything to save it? Or been so scared of something you felt like you became a different person afterwards because of the experience? Well, the characters of Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace all have encountered these experiences and their lives have changed forever because of the destruction caused by fear. Lord of the Flies is set during the time of World War 2 and is about a group of 7-12 year old boys who are hopelessly stranded on an uncharted island after a devastating plane crash leaving them completely without adult supervision. They begin to build a system of rules but it is quickly ruined when Jack delves into savagery because of a supposed beast and refusal to follow rules, and the majority of the group quickly follows. They are eventually rescued but only after the death of Simon and Piggy and the destruction of the entire island in an attempt to find and kill Ralph. A Separate Peace, like The Lord of the Flies, is set during World War 2 and is about two boys, Phineas and Gene, who attend a boarding school in New Hampshire, Devon. Over the summer they become best friends until Gene begins to resent Finny. He starts to suspect that Finny is trying to become the top student at Devon. In a moment of rage while on the limb of a giant tree, Gene jounces the limb and Finny falls and shatters his leg. Gene feels and guilty and throughout the rest of the novel must fight it back to reconcile with Finny. He eventually does, but soon after Finny dies during surgery on his leg. In both Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace fear becomes a destructive force because it: brings out the savagery in man, creates internal and external conflicts, and causes the loss of innocence in some of the characters.
Throughout both of these novels, the true savage nature of man begins to show in all characters due to the influence of fear. In Lord of the Flies, the boys become savages as a result of their terror of the beast. They cause mass hysteria because they cannot mitigate the problem; the boys delve into brutality. “It is much like the picture William Golding painted in Lord of the Flies, where civilized children became savages to protect themselves” (Sonnenberg, par.7). Sonnenberg explains why the boys become savages, and that is to protect themselves from the beast.Their savage nature and brutality is a way of surviving and facing their fear and the danger of the beast. People do what they need to do in time of great danger and survival of the fittest becomes very important. In A Separate Peace, Gene becomes fearful of losing his place as top student at Devon to Finny. “He minded the possibility that I might be the head of the school"(Knowles, pg. 52-53). Because of his realization, he gives into a malicious side of him and “jounces the limb” that Finny is standing on, causing him to fall off and shatter his leg. Fear causes a harsh and savage side of Gene to come out but unlike...

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