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'Coral Island' had a 'pretty big connection' with 'Lord of the Flies', however, whereas Ballantyne's boys lead noble decent lives, Golding's boys progressively deteriorate - Compare the social, cultural and historical issues which underpin both novels.

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Introduction

Wider Reading - 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Coral Island' * Golding conceded that 'Coral Island' had a 'pretty big connection' with 'Lord of the Flies'. However, whereas Ballantyne's boys lead noble decent lives, Golding's boys progressively deteriorate. Compare the social, cultural and historical issues which underpin both novels. At first sight, 'Coral Island' seems an extremely pompous and arrogant novel. This, however, is because the book is being read from a 21st century perspective, whereas when Ballantyne wrote 'Coral Island' it was seen as a thoroughly enjoyable story. This is because the book was written in the 19th century, when the people of Britain felt that they had developed an organised society where humans were at their best and flourishing. As Ballantyne himself described the society: 'Britons at the top of the tree, savages and pigs at the bottom.' Looking at 'Coral Island' from a 20th century point of view, Golding analysed the book very critically and decided that it was an out of date, arrogant, false portrayal of society and that he could write a better book. He sat down and wrote 'Lord of the Flies' to show the problems of human nature. ...read more.

Middle

He discovered exactly what one human being is capable of doing to another, and not just the 'savages' in Africa or Asia. Terrible things were committed with skill by well-educated people such as doctors and lawyers amongst their own equals. In the novel, Henry and Roger are also comparable to Golding's time of life. When Roger is throwing stones at Henry, there is still: 'a space round Henry into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents, school, policemen and the law. Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.' Roger knows here that he cannot and should not hurt others, but by the end of the story he has had a hand in the killing of Simon and has killed Piggy on his own. This ties in with the collapse of civilisation around Golding, as well as in the novel. In the 19th century when Ballantyne wrote 'Coral Island', the qualities of the average 'British Gentleman' were generosity, courage, resourcefulness, loyalty, innocence, compassion, selflessness and decency. ...read more.

Conclusion

other pigs by killing a pig that had to raise young or killing a piglet which would be missed by the mother. I think Golding wrote 'Lord of the Flies' from personal experiences to prove a point against 'Coral Island' and the rest of the world, especially when he says: 'The whole book is symbolic in nature except the rescue in the end where adult life appears, dignified and capable, but in reality enmeshed in the same evil as the symbolic life of the children on the island. The officer, having interrupted a manhunt, prepares to take the children off the island in a ship which will presently be hunting its enemy in the same way. And who will rescue the officer?' Overall, I think the main theme running throughout 'Coral Island' is the nobility and courage of Victorian England, that the English are innocent and that they can do nothing wrong. These views are completely turned upside down by Golding in 'Lord of the Flies'. I think Golding makes a very clear point that society holds everyone together. Without strong government and rules, mayhem and savagery will thrive, and without policemen and schools men revert to their primitive beginnings as hunters and killers. ...read more.

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