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Compare and contrast the closing passage of Chapter 12 of Lord Of The Flies by William Golding (from "He was awake before his eyes were open..." page 235) with the short story "The Black Cottage" by Wilkie Collins

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Compare and contrast the closing passage of Chapter 12 of Lord Of The Flies by William Golding (from "He was awake before his eyes were open..." page 235) with the short story "The Black Cottage" by Wilkie Collins In this essay, I will explore the similarities and differences between the above named pieces of writing. The two pieces are similar in some ways, but they contain a few fundamental differences. William Golding wrote Lord Of The Flies in 1954, whereas The Black Cottage was written in 1859, almost 100 years earlier, and this will be reflected upon later in this essay. I will begin with a brief introduction to the two pieces of writing. This is important to do, as Lord Of The Flies is essentially a novel, and the section I will be concentrating this essay on is only a short part of that. Lord Of The Flies is a thought-provoking novel, based on the terrible exploits of a group of young British boys evacuated from their homes during the war. Their plane crash-lands on an isolated island in an unknown location. The story describes the transition from civilisation to barbaric savagery, and delivers a message of pessimism in that, without the society that man is inherently tied to, we would be likely to return to savagery. The Black Cottage is less of a novel than a short story. It follows the exploits of Bessie, a young girl who is left alone for the night in a lonely abode on the moors. She must fight off a couple of thieves, in order to protect a large sum of money entrusted to her, and a set of valuable teaspoons left to her by her late mother. In this essay, I will attempt to demonstrate the similarities and differences in these two pieces of writing, by looking at many different aspects of the two extracts. ...read more.


This quality is emphasised in his first few meetings as chief on the island, when he decides on an number of courses of action to establish a sort of society and order between the boys on the island. 'We need shelter'. We must make a fire'. 'We ought to have more rules'. 'We've got to decide about being rescued'. These are just a few of Ralph's key decisions, which provide valuable stability to the boys in the early part of the novel. * * * * The villains in both stories are totally evil in their actions, but are very different in their appearance and in the way they carry out their actions. In Lord Of The Flies, the villains are, after all, just young boys, and so they are not expected to look like fearsome thugs. In fact, at the start of the novel, Jack ad Roger (the leaders of the savages) are simply choir boys, no older than 12. Jack is exactly the opposite of how you would envisage the evil one in a story. He '...was tall, thin and bony, and his hair was red'. His face was later described as being'...crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness'. This is in contrast to Roger, who, although he is of about the same age as Jack, is described as being '...something forbidding', with a 'shock of black hair...seemed to suit his gloomy face'. Roger seems to be unsociable and withdrawn, but, as civilisation creeps away from the boys, he becomes evermore the character who portrays pure evil, demonstrated perfectly by his deliberate killing of Piggy in Chapter 11. In contrast, Shifty Dick and Jerry look exactly how we envisage a criminal double act. In children's films, where the character's appearances must be exaggerated to make the story understandable for the children, we see a couple of characters with striking similarities to Shifty Dick and Jerry, for instance the crooks in '101 Dalmatians'. ...read more.


The first is the way in which Golding repeats things from previous parts of the story with apparent randomness. Looking closely at the words, you will find that these words are the memories of Ralph as his mind races uncontrollably in his attempts to escape the savages. Golding repeats 'a stick sharpened' numerous times in this final passage. Ralph does not know the significance of the stick sharpened at both ends, but as readers, we know that this is the ritual performed when pigs are caught - to cut off the head, and skewer it on a stick sharpened at both ends, as a sacrifice to the beast. Ralph only knows that the sharpened stick is something Roger has done that is likely to be associated with his death. Golding also repeats the words of Simon to Ralph in earlier chapters - 'You'll get back'. This is significant to this part of the story, as Ralph's situation seems desperate, and these words may well be his last hopes. Golding also flits between different subjects in short, sharp sentences, which reflect the racing of Ralph's mind. * * * * In conclusion, we can see that the final chapter of Lord Of The Flies and The Black Cottage are very similar in that they portray an attack and chase on the main characters by a group of villains who will stop at nothing to get what they want. In Lord Of The Flies, the savages want to kill Ralph as they did Piggy, and they will set fire to the whole island in order to achieve this, jeopardising their own future in a foolish frenzy of savagery which was unleashed upon Ralph. In The Black Cottage, Shifty Dick and Jerry try every which way they can to break into the cottage. Later on, as their efforts to steal the pocket book fail, their efforts turn towards breaking in to cause harm to Bessie. However, there are very striking differences between the two stories, and the way they are formed. Wide Reading Coursework for GCSE English Grade A ...read more.

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