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Compare the threats to civilisation in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the Stolen Bacillus by H. G. Wells.

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Introduction

Compare the threats to civilisation in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the Stolen Bacillus by H. G. Wells The threats to civilisation in the two books, Lord of the Flies and the Stolen Bacillus, are presented to they reader in many ways. There are many differences between the two but, there are also similarities. Both show threat to the society in which they live and, therefore, civilisation. In the Lord of the Flies the threat and cause of the eventual demise of society is people, themselves. This threat comes from within themselves because of the boys love of violence and greed but, also because of the fight for power on the island. In the Stolen Bacillus the threat comes from one, crazed, man, and anarchist, seeking recognition. But this threat also comes from the science of the time and the Bacillus cholera. The two books are also influenced by the by the historical period in which they were written. The time in which the Lord of the Flies was written, in 1954, was at the end of World War II. William Golding has used this influence in writing his book; he is trying to use the situation on the island to relate to the wider world and the attitude of the time, which was geared to war and the effects it has on people. The Stolen Bacillus, written in 1894, has drawn in influence from science, which at the time was only just becoming known to the world. ...read more.

Middle

And they do this by providing us with two sides in each story, the side that wants a civilised society and the side that wants to break down civilisation. The Lord of the Flies is set on an island. The island is described in the book with "sea on either side, and the crystal heights of air", "Circular horizon of water," and "jungly flat of the island, dense green, but drawn at the end to a pink tail." This portrays images of luscious green and tropical savannah. This setting is perfect for a civilised society, and does so for a while. But, fire spreads through the island, burning down fruit trees, killing future food supplies (animals), and even killing the boy with the mulberry patch on his face. It burns down because of the boys' stupidity and because the fire was not supervised properly. This marks one of the first stages of civilisation breaking down. The island is the 'society' in which the boys', at first, flourish but, then, in stages, break down into savages, all but Ralph and Piggy. There are then two places within this setting, one with Ralph as the leader and one with Jack rules. The platform, where Ralph leads, portrays certain characteristics of Ralph. The platform is a flat, triangle shape surrounded by tropical palm trees'. This shows Ralph as straightforward, caring and democratic/equal. Castle rock, where Jack rules, is described to us to be in levels, "The rock of the cliff was split and the top littered with great lumps that seemed to totter." ...read more.

Conclusion

One is only a short story and one is a full novel. The Lord of the Flies is the long novel and is for one reason. This is because |William Golding presents to us, the reader, the threats to civilisation in carefully planned out stages, to show us the demise of civilisation in the most realistically possible way. The Stolen Bacillus is the short novel. This is because H. G. Wells wishes to express his views on science and does not need to present this in stages. Perhaps he wishes to entertain the reader, inform and explain to us about science, and threats to civilisation. In conclusion, both Lord of the Flies and the Stolen Bacillus present the threat to civilisation in different ways, but, they do have similarities as well as differences. The Lord of the Flies civilised society breaks down in stages because of one individual, Jack, who poses the threat because of his greed and thirst for power, and this I presented to the reader throughout the book. In the Stolen Bacillus the threat to civilisation comes from, also, one individual, "the pale faced man", but, also from science, the cholera. But, perhaps the books have wider meanings. The Lord of the Flies is influenced by the wider world and William Golding is trying to represent whet he sees' going on in the world around him. In the Stolen Bacillus H. G. Wells, who supported science, is trying to inform others that science is not a threat. So, really what we have to ask ourselves is what is portrayed to us in these two books, what would really happen if our modern society were to break down? Would we survive? ...read more.

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