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A comparative study of jack in ‘Lord of the Flies’ and Heathcliff in ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the conflict they represent between ‘civilised’ and ‘savage’ behaviour.

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Introduction

A comparative study of jack in 'Lord of the Flies' and Heathcliff in 'Wuthering Heights' and the conflict they represent between 'civilised' and 'savage' behaviour. In this essay I will be focusing on the two different novels, 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding and 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Br�nte. I will concentrate on Jack in 'Lord of the Flies' and his constant conflict over leadership on the island, and Heathcliff in 'Wuthering Heights' and his conflict with Edgar Linton regarding Catherine Earnshaw. I will show how the two authors use different procedures to express the emotional and behavioural differences between savage and civilised behaviour. The two novels are very different in the way in which narration, viewpoint, language and the detail of the description is used. Much of 'Wuthering Heights' is a long flash back told by Nellie Dean, the former housekeeper to Mr Lockwood a tenant at Thrushcross grange. The text is extremely descriptive but also consists of Nellie Dean's opinions and memories along with a few extracts form Catherine Earnshaw's diary. The novel contains more traditional language 'They both promised... to grow up rude as savages, the young master being entirely negligent how they behaved and what they did so they kept clear of him.' Throughout the novel there is little speech used. When speech is used it consists of a variety of dialects, Standard English is used in conversations/comments by most of the characters. With Joseph being the acception and speaking Scottish, 'Maister, coom Hither! Miss Cathy's riven Th' back off Th' Helmeth uh Salvation un' Heathcliff's pawsed his fit intuh t' first part uh T' Broadway to destruction!' This adds a bit of variety to the novel as it shows how different people from different parts of the country react to events. 'Lord of the Flies' uses more modern English 'Piggy said nothing but nodded, solemnly. They continued to sit, gazing with impaired sight at the chief's seat and the glittering lagoon.' ...read more.

Middle

It is also shown how Jack's physical violence is initially kept pent up inside him but eventually releases itself onto piggy 'This from piggy and wails of agreement from some of the hunters drove Jack to violence. The bolting look came into his blue eyes. He took a step and able at last to hit someone stuck his fist into piggy's stomach.' This again shows his dislike for piggy and shows how uncivilised and savage he in fact is. Both Jack and Heathcliff act violently but they release their aggression differently, Heathcliff tends to be clever with the way in which he acts and bribes, although he suggests that he could indeed handle releasing his aggression physically he doesn't he sticks to what he knows best and shows a more mature attitude towards it. Jack on the other hand shows a more immature way of handling it; he uses both physical and verbal violence. The way in which he uses his words to try and harm others is different, and entails no maturity at all, he uses more childish thoughtless words, he may well use physical violence because he realises that his immature way of handling words is not making much of an effect. Heathcliff's aggression becomes focused on Edgar Linton; this is because Heathcliff is jealous of the relationship Edgar has with Catherine. To show Heathcliff's wildness and to develop the civilisation versus savagery theme Br�nte uses a different kind of language, a more intense harsh range of vocabulary. She uses words such as 'with frightful vehemence' to prove that Heathcliff feels really deeply and means what he says, she shows him to be impatient, agitated and angry; 'stamping his foot and groaning in a sudden paroxysm.' This is another example of Heathcliff's aggression being focused on Edgar Linton; '"Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like a bull!" he said. "It is in danger of splitting its skull against my knuckles. ...read more.

Conclusion

However he does have positive sides; the fact that he cares for others so much that he would change for them, and the fact that when he is angry he does not always release it on others but in fact will runaway to the moors to calm down; 'he had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then he stayed no farther.' Catherine, Nelly and Mr Earnshaw all loved Heathcliff greatly and this also suggests that in fact he must have good sides to him or else's they would not have loved him so, much. Jack also inspires strong emotions, however they are different from those of Heathcliff. Jack inspires fear and admiration. Admiration must be one of the biggest as Ralph admires him and they normally fight, argue and show constant dislike towards each other. Golding allows jack to apologise to piggy after stealing his glasses this raises admiration form the reader as well as other characters in the book. Jack is intimidating, this makes him feel like he has power over others which is what he wants; however this makes people dislike him, but they continue to follow him because they fear him; '"who wants Jack for chief?" with dreary obedience the choir raised their hands.' 'Dreary' emphasises the fact that the choir dislike Jack and don't want to vote for him but do so because they fear him. Both boys shower others with strong emotions. Jack creates mainly negative feelings, or gains positive feedback from others after having previously doing something negative and then correcting it. Heathcliff creates equal positive and negative feelings. In writing this essay I have noticed many similarities in Heathcliff and Jack despite the very different context of the novels. I prefer Golding's style of writing as it gives a better description of the characters and the surroundings and more in sight into the story. However as the characters I prefer Heathcliff to Jack as the way in which he acts and responds to events are more understandable whereas Jack is full of evil. ...read more.

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