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Compare and Contrast the presentation of Good and Evil in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Lord of the Flies'.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the presentation of Good and Evil in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Lord of the Flies' Books are often written to express a deeper idea or theme than the characters and their surroundings. In the books 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson and 'Lord of The Flies' by William Golding, good and evil are prime themes. 'Lord of the Flies' is a story of a group of young boys stranded on desert island, after enemy forces have shot down their plane. The book was written in 1954, so therefore it is understandable that the Second World War will have a major influence in the story. The major idea throughout the book is that of original sin, where the belief is Adam & Eve brought sin into the world and as a result to be sinful is humans natural tendency. This relates to the characters in the book as many of them begin in a civilised manner but with no restrictions become brutal and barbaric. 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is set in Victorian times, where the well-respected lawyer Utterson investigates the mysterious goings on surrounding his good friend Dr Jekyll and the evil Mr Hyde. ...read more.

Middle

Separate from Christian iconography, Golding uses allegory connected to the Second World War throughout the book. Due to the time the book was written (soon after the World War 2) all people were exploring issues about good and evil. Many people had lost confidence in the idea of a clear line between good and evil, and the characters in 'Lord of the Flies' symbolise this feeling. Jack could be said to portray Hitler, Ralph is Winston Churchill and the choir are followers of Hitler i.e. The Nazi's. Using these links it makes the reader realise that however brutal and uncivilised the boys seem, their actions can also be related to modern times. Still further symbolism is used in 'Lord of the Flies' where certain elements are repeated throughout the story. It is therefore obvious that this element is used to symbolise an important idea. The signal fire on the mountain is a very major aspect in 'Lord of the Flies'. The fire symbolises rescue and the desire to be saved. When the fire runs low, (such as when Jack allowed the fire to go out), the desire for rescue is reduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also hypocrisy is a part of contemporary life. Many people behave in one way while in public but another elsewhere. This is also brought out in the novel as Dr Jekyll was forced by civilisation to act differently in public and this caused him to experiment with drugs, (therefore separating his two sides making it easy to act respectively at all times. 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and ' Lord of the flies' have similar themes although written in two largely different times. They also relate closely to current themes suggesting that some ideas are consistent over time. The themes of good and evil and the relation to 'original sin' are demonstrated within both novels suggesting that each individual has the opportunity to be both good and evil. This is best in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' as the same person splits his personalities, which allows it to be both good and fully evil at different times. In 'Lord of the Flies' this is shown in a different way, by using children as the main characters. In this way, it uses the reader's preconception that children are innocent and are not born evil, but can become so. ...read more.

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