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Compare the ways in which children are portrayed in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

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  • Essay length: 1056 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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GCSE William Golding

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Compare the ways in which children are portrayed in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw and William Golding's Lord of the Flies. How convincing do you find each author's treatment of evil in relation to his characters?

Everyone likes to think of childhood as a symbol of a time of innocence. People tend to look back on their childhood nostalgically, they remember it as carefree and often use the term 'youth is wasted on the young' these feelings have stayed with us for centuries and are incredibly deep rooted. These feelings therefore, create widespread outrage when evil becomes apparent in children or is inflicted upon them, For example the murder of James Bulger by ten year olds and also abuse and corruption of children. Children are thought of as vulnerable, when there vulnerability is taken advantage of, especially by another child a question is asked, is childhood innocence a myth?

The Victorians were aware of the religious doctrine of original sin, yet they were shocked that there was the suggestion that the two young children in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw could be evil. Golding presents children with a strong propensity to evil and disorder.

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