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Compare the ways in which William Golding and Mary Shelley explore the corruption of innocence in their novels.

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Introduction

Comparative essay for pre and post 1914 writing Essay question: Compare the ways in which William Golding and Mary Shelley explore the corruption of innocence in their novels. In this essay, I will study how the distortion of virtuousness is portrayed in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and William Golding's 'Lord of the flies'. I am going to be concentrating on the characters of Jack and the 'creation' in the particular novels. My focus will follow their deterioration from innocuous characters with no past of violence to their fall into treachery and deceit. When we are first introduced to the characters they are innocent. Jack is the leader of the choir at a public school and we associate this with being of high moral character. We can also see that he has a child like naivety because he believes that he should be 'chief' because he '...can sing C sharp', which shows us he has an unbroken voice and us immature. The creation of Frankenstein is pure with no knowledge of good or evil and starts with a child-like innocence, which is similar to Jack. The monster is a creation that the creator '...had worked hard [on] for nearly two years for the sole purpose of infusing like into an inanimate body' and has no previous misdemeanour. ...read more.

Middle

This is the first time we see Jack as he really is, 'A little boy...' Whereas in 'Frankenstein' the creation incurs a more ominous and perhaps tragic fate as he tells the reader that he 'shall collect [his] funeral pile, and consume to ashes this miserable frame'. By this, he means that he is now prepared to die for his sins and the loss of his creator and because he has had such an ill-fated life, he believes that he should die to repay society. These two endings juxtapose each other because one leaves us searching for justice, and the other satisfied but also slightly saddened. The use of figurative or metaphorical expression in both of these novels is clearly evident and used for the protagonists in the two novels. The metaphorical language used in 'Frankenstein' when the creation is taught to read is used to denote the creation's ability to have human thoughts, feeling, and ability to become a member of society. Because he is taught to read, we can also see that it symbolises the fact that because he is different he is taught to fit in and attempt to become 'human'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The creation needed guidance from his creator but didn't received it, he said 'Remember that I am thy creature' which shows us that he thinks he is the property of Victor Frankenstein and should therefore be guided by him. Jack was corrupted by public school- belief in status. Society and their prejudice corrupted the creation during the novel. I think that the character that encountered the greatest corruption was Jack. I think this because at the beginning of the novel, Jack was an innocent schoolboy, and at the end of the novel, he had become a savage, which was quite a change! However, The distortion he encountered and the evil and nastiness that emerged from him towards the end had not just been a result of the island, but was already inside him from the very beginning. This was partly down to his snobbish upbringing but mainly due to his arrogant and self-righteous personality that we could see from the start when he repeats the phrase 'Shut up Fatty' to Piggy. He tries to achieve total dictatorship and tries to abolish all order and civility that existed on the island. He gets rid of everything on the island that is good and civilized like Piggy, Simon, and the conch and this showed the extent of the corruption he had experienced. 1 ...read more.

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