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Compare the ways in which Ballantyne and Golding close their respective novels. Which do you think is the more optimistic? How does the language in each convey the attitude of the author towards his subject?

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which Ballantyne and Golding close their respective novels. Which do you think is the more optimistic? How does the language in each convey the attitude of the author towards his subject? William Golding and RM Ballantyne have both written books about children in extreme situations; landing on an island without any of their parents, although in Coral island, natives inhabit the island. But the language, attitude and atmosphere created are very different. Another contrast between the two books is the mood on the island; in Lord of The Flies, the group of boys turn into ruthless savages; whereas the mood on Coral Island is much lighter and optimistic. One major difference between the two books is the language used to convey the atmosphere. Lord of The Flies uses very vivid and descriptive language to convey a sense of darkness, despair, fear and every man for himself. Golding's rich language and use of alliteration also helps to create a fast pace to the final chapter, "Hopeless fear on flying feet, rushing through the forest towards the open beach." ...read more.

Middle

This has a major importance as it splits the group with Ralph and Jack both leading different groups. "A savage who carried a spear," shows the decline of civilisation on the island and shows that Golding is the much more pessimistic, as he believes that civilisation is superficial and would decline quickly, whereas RM Ballantyne is more optimistic and hopeful. "And spreading, if possible, the light of the glorious gospel there" shows that Christianity has had a big part in maintaining a civilisation; and that everyone on the island believes in the Christian ways. Another distinction between the attitude of Golding and Ballantyne while writing the books is the children's reaction to leaving the island. In Lord of the Flies Ralph especially seems immensely relieved that he is able to escape probable death if he remained on the island; while the other boys are just happy to return home and lead a normal life again, one without spears and murder. "Other boys were appearing now, lots of them," shows that everyone was glad to see the officer and they were anxious to escape the island. ...read more.

Conclusion

"We felt a growing affection for the natives and missionary," says Ballantyne, which also shows that the children share a strong bond with the natives. Another distinction between Lord of The Flies and Coral Island is the attitude of the author. Golding obviously thinks that civilisation would fail with children on an island and makes a reference to this in the final chapter. "I know. Jolly good show. Like on the Coral Island." The officer is mistaken in thinking that the boys were only pretending to have a war and didn't realise the full extent of what had happened. In contrast Ballantyne is much more optimistic and, thanks partly to the natives being on the island, civilisation has been maintained throughout the book. I can conclude that Golding and Ballantyne convey contrasting views using different techniques. The plot, characters and tone of the stories are similar at the beginning, but the further the books progress, the more the characters from Lord of The Flies fall out and civilisation diminishes, while the characters from Coral Island continue to bond and have more brotherly feelings towards the natives. ...read more.

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