Lord of the Flies, Coral Island and the Role of Adults - Essay

1558 WordsNov 9, 20127 Pages
It is known that to fully appreciate the novel “Lord of the Flies” (1954) by William Golding (1911-1993) it is necessary to have read Robert Michael Ballantyne’s (1825-1894) “Coral Island” (1858), or at least to understand its theme and treatment. And so, since it was Golding’s intention to set himself to write an island story that deliberately challenged Ballantyne’s model in “Coral Island” -by inverting its assumptions and values- we can explore multiple angles from which the two novels can be compared and studied. An item which seems quite interesting when analysing both texts is that one related to civilization and its adult exponents. After a thorough reading and focusing on very clear and specific elements we happen to notice the…show more content…
Or, How can an ambassador of an atomic war stand for the parental protection or even a mature model to be followed? The naval officer’s ignorance, his lack of understanding of what has been going on, is ironical.4 Furthermore, what Golding is trying to make clear at this instance is the decadent figure of the human adult, and by extension, of the whole human civilized world. Let us now turn to R.M. Ballantyne’s “Coral Island”. Here, the concern about civilization, seems to be very well defined as well as good and evil are so clearly separated that there cannot be any conflict between them.5 In spite of this, when we come to a closer look we find a special complexity within a number of characters. Everything about Ballantyne’s boys, who are older by some years than Golding’s boys, is confident and positive. The novel as a whole, pictures the assumptions and values of the Victorian period in affirming progress, imperialism, self-reliance, the Creator, the goodness of nature and of human nature- when Christianised at least 6 Actually, this is quite an interesting item to focus on. On the one hand there are the dark-skinned people referred to as “the savages”, who are in fact the native inhabitants from the neighbouring islands. They are a kind of primitive adults, constantly characterised as cruel, uncivilised inferior beings. Their rituals, their form of life, the whole of their culture is described as barbarian and demoniac and Ralph, our young narrator, is
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