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Compare and contrast the 1963 and 1990 version of 'Lord Of The Flies' - Which is the most helpful for students of the text?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the 1963 and 1990 version of 'Lord Of The Flies'. Which is the most helpful for students of the text? In this essay I will be compare and contrast the 1963 and the 1990 version of 'Lord Of The Flies'. I will be exploring the two films to see which is better at helping students to understand the central theories of Golding's original novel. Peter Brook's version was made in 1963, had a British cast and was filmed in black and white. He took an assembly of schoolboys to the Caribbean island of Vieques for three months and then got them to act out the book with very little direction from Brook himself. This may be because he wanted the film to look realistic and not staged. Harry Hook's American, technicolour version was produced in 1990 and included characters who were not in the original novel. There are a number of differences between the two films. In the 'Lord Of The Flies' novel, Golding makes sure that no adults are present, aside from the dead parachutist. However in the 1990 version, a fatally ill pilot is present amongst the children. We are also never told about the boys' homes or past in the book, whereas in Hook's version the boys gossip about Jack's military record and the time he drove off in an army car. ...read more.

Middle

Nevertheless Ralph does not possess the real brains that Piggy does, which causes his downfall and lets Jack get away with murder. From this, one is led to believe that humans are shallow and fail to look beyond the visual exterior of man. Simon is depicted as the silent boy in both films. He is likened to Jesus and is killed, just as Jesus died on the cross. The new technology available in 1990 made Hook's version gorier. Simon never finds the courage to express his thoughts and emotions, and therefore is looked upon as an outsider like Piggy. The human mind needs to be constantly nurtured to prevent it from turning against others. Children need a higher figure to maintain peace and harmony, ensuring them that their biggest fears are in fact figments of their imagination (for example monsters under the bed). When there is no higher authority, undeveloped minds do not think of others. They do not live their lives considerately. Instead, they act on their instincts and are quick to blame an outsider for their own fears. This is how the beast becomes an issue on the island, as even the older boys begin to doubt their common sense. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Hook's version the lighting was clear. He was able to control the amount of light he wanted cast onto each individual scene, which was not possible during the time of Brooks' film. The fact that the film was in colour added to the effect on the costume and the blood on the hunters. The effects mentioned above help us to understand and interpret the novel. They tell us about time passed on the island and the gradual deterioration of the boys' sense of law and order. I have concluded that Brooks' version of the film would be more helpful for students of the text. His film was made only nine years after the book was published and therefore used the same language of the period. Hook's version was made in 1990, and was vastly different. Society had greatly changed in forty years. The language used was completely different. The American actors meant that the vocabulary used was different from the novel. This film contained many characters that were not in the original novel, which could have led to confusion for students studying the text. Brook's version showed more relevance to the script. The events occurred in the same sequence as the book. Children of today would have found Hook's version more entertaining, seeing as there was more blood, gore and profanity. However it would not aid them in the study of the text as much as Brook's version could. ...read more.

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