Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens`Lord of the Flies`, by William Golding was written in 1954 almost acentury after Charles Dickens wrote `Great Expectations`, in 1860.Both of the novels are considered as being classics and have been madeinto films and the books while seeming completely different do havesimilarities although they are in different social, historical andcultural settings.

The frameworks of the books are completely different, `Lord of theFlies` starts as a traditional boy’s adventure story like `CoralIsland`, by R.M. Ballantyne, however it is subverted to a dark,menacing story about how people behave when the constraints of societyare removed. The island is a microcosm of society, and in the book wesee examples of hierarchy, the social divide, human nature, and howthe boys, with no adults, start to rely on their basic savageinstincts. `Great Expectations` is mainly about the divides betweenthe rich and the poor, a popular theme in the Victorian times as theindustrial revolution had broadened and highlighted the divide,however both books do reflect on society, and the weakness of humannature. Both the books, while having a traditional framework, have anoriginal element. Not many memoirs are as strange and varied as Pip’s,and not many boy’s adventure stories turn as dark and menacing asGolding’s novel.

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In the opening chapters the settings of the books are contrasting, in`Lord of the Flies`, the boys are in tropical splendor, (the pool)

“It was clear to the bottom and bright with the efflorescence oftropical weed and coral” (pg 17), while in `Great Expectations` theopening chapter is set in a graveyard, which is dank a…

…agwitch in historn, coarse and disheveled state,

“A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. Aman with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied roundhis head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud,and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and tornby briars; who limped”.

From this the reader can see that, although the opening chapters ofboth novels seem completely unrelated, in fact when the reader looksmore closely, many parallels can be seen. For example though thesettings are very diverse, one being a wind swept moor, and the otherbeing a tropical island, both are menacing. Although these books werewritten almost a century apart, and at first seem to be on differenttopics, many of the key features are the same, and many of thecharacters posses similar qualities.

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