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Compare the opening chapters of Jane Eyre and Lord of the Flies, focusing on how Bronte and Golding portray Jane and Piggy.

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Compare the opening chapters of Jane Eyre and Lord of the Flies, focusing on how Bronte and Golding portray Jane and Piggy. Looking at the opening of these books, we can straight away see similarities between Jane and Piggy. The most obvious is that right from the start they are outsiders. They are in different surroundings, but both characters are of a lower class than the people around them. Jane would have been a lowly servant were it not for her rich aunt taking her in when she her parents died. Piggy's aunt seems to be comfortably well off too; "She kept a sweet shop," he says; and she could afford glasses for him in a period where they were rare, and expensive. Both children are orphans, and live with these aunts. Even when Piggy was at home he was considered strange by his peers, so, although Piggy is different in that his aunt cosseted him, both children have spent their lives being mocked and disliked. ...read more.


The reader perhaps feels that, were these boys not so big or tall, and constantly "proving" their power, they would be bullied themselves. Piggy and Jane are once again linked in that most of their misery comes from one ringleader. It's interesting that there is no real reason why the two characters are disliked by those around them. The authors are showing how much they don't fit in, and creating sympathy for the characters. In Jane Eyre, Bronte empathises with Jane, and shows this by writing in the first person. Lord of the Flies is in the third person because it is not about one particular person; it flicks from viewpoint to viewpoint. All the time we see Piggy left out of the group however, and this is a way in which Jane and Piggy reflect each other; neither is ever part of a group. Jane is "under obligations to Mrs Reed" and Piggy is laughed at even by his friend Ralph. ...read more.


Golding uses the same device in a different manner; there is the beautiful day after the storm, where the boys are joyful and excited to be somewhere new. There is also the threat of another storm, as Ralph sees when he decides to build shelters. One thing that sets the books apart is narrative. As I said before, Lord of the Flies is written in the third person, so sometimes we can only guess at what Piggy is feeling. However Jane Eyre is written in the first person. Bronte provides in depth detail of all Jane's thoughts and feelings, e.g. "How all my brain was in tumult, and all my heart in insurrection!" This gives us more insight into her character and history, and more empathy for Bronte as well as her character, than we ever feel for Piggy. We understand why Jane does what she does, whereas at times Piggy is incomprehensible. Why does he tell Ralph the name he doesn't want to be called? Overall Piggy seems weaker than Jane in mind and character, and this shows throughout the books. Helen Clavering ...read more.

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