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Compare and Contrast the ways in which

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Compare and Contrast the ways in which "Robinson Crusoe", "the Coral Island" and "Lord of the Flies" present and develop the experience of being marooned on a desert island. Show how the texts reflect the ideas and beliefs of its own author and the period in which it was written. In all three novels a person or a group of people are marooned on a desert/tropical island. All three crash of scupper on or near the island they eventually live on. What is also important is that the islands are great distances from other civilisation and frequented shipping lanes. As such, the prospect of leaving the island or being rescued quickly is a distant one. All three parties know this and deal, or equally do not deal, with this fact. Oddly, the party that get rescued quickest and have the highest chance of a quick rescue do not deal with live away from civilisation very well at all, William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". Crusoe arrives on his island in a shipwreck. He thrown ashore when the life-raft he was in is tipped over into the sea. By some miracle he is washed ashore and lives whereas the rest of the crew of his ship are lost. His arrival is tempestuous, just like the boys from "Coral Island". ...read more.


They also do not have a large sense of religious or divine interference in their stay on the isle. They are free to enjoy themselves and they do so. This is rather contrary to the experience of the boys in "Lord of the Flies". The boys first see the island as an adventure playground, a place away from adults where they can be free. This buoyant sense of freedom is gradually worn down to a harsh awakening to reality. They are alone and unable to care for themselves. This is mainly due to their young ages, but also their inability to coordinate a survival situation. In this way it is not their fault. "Aren't there any grown ups? ... We'll have to look after ourselves then." What is common to all three islands is the fact that the islands are essentially 'good'. The islands are capable of supporting live, providing food and shelter and safety. None of the islands are intentionally 'bad' none to damage to their impromptu visitors. Nature is not malevolent, but not overly benevolent. All three parties are lucky to land on islands free of highly dangerous creatures; lions, tigers, jaguars, komodo dragons etc. the only danger that is a common thread is humanity. The cannibals of Crusoe's Caribbean island are a great danger to him. ...read more.


The boy's thin veneer of civilisation degrades very quickly and boys descend, as we see it, into complete savagery. They kill their own, bicker and fight and lose track of what is important. Golding's message is that civilisation and manners and polite society are nothing but a veneer. It can be broken down, pulled apart to show mankind's true being. To Golding, that being is savagery. With nothing to stop them but themselves, the boys become nothing but animals. For Golding, this is the fall of mankind, to drop from grace. Yet for Golding there is no redemption, no salvation. You can link that to Christian theology, the apparent fall of the Jews from the grace of God, the saving grace of the butchered Christ. Reading into it a little more, Simon is the Christ figure for Golding. His death at the hands of his fellow boys is an apparent link to Christ. An even more tenuous link is that Simon's own name can moved around a little to fit in with that of Peter, the Rock of Jesus. Peter's original was Simon; he is even refereed to as Simon-Peter. Yet even with Simon's sacrifice, there is no saving grace, no return to God. Mankind's failure is a complete one, with no way out of it. Mankind's heart is too dark and evil for that. This a heavily humanistic, pessimistic view that clashes with Defoe's optimistic ...read more.

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