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Frankenstein and Lord of the Flies were written in different centuries. Analyse the similarities and discuss the differences which you have found in these texts. You should pay particular attention to characterisation, style and theme.

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Introduction

'Frankenstein' and 'Lord of the Flies' were written in different centuries. Analyse the similarities and discuss the differences which you have found in these texts. You should pay particular attention to characterisation, style and theme. Mary Shelley wrote 'Frankenstein' in the 18th Century. As there was no cinema or television available books were a widely accessible form of entertainment. Particularly fantastical texts like 'Dracula' and 'Vathek' were popular, books like these were not meant to be thought of as a portrayal of realism, this is why 'Frankenstein' is very unbelievable. 'Frankenstein' is set in a time when new science posed a threat to Christian beliefs, as society started to believe that man could be created. This all seemed very possible in the early 18th Century because Benjamin Franklin had previously invented a lightning conductor and in 1802 Galvani ran a current through a frogs legs and it produced a twitch. The thought of starting life with lightning terrified people because of the dangers it appeared to pose to endanger human life. William Golding published 'Lord of the Flies' in 1954, nine years after the end of the Second World War. So there were still conflicts going on between Russia and America, Golding used the idea of continuous war and portrayed it onto the island. The text concerns a group of public school boys getting trapped on an island after their plane crashes; they all have traditional upbringings and attitudes. Other books, which had previously been written such as 'Swiss Family Robinson' and 'Coral Island', featured a similar situation but with a happier ending, these types of books were all very unrealistic and fairytale like. William Golding wrote what he thought would really happen if anyone ever faced this situation. The two tribes that develop in 'Lord of the Flies' (Jack's and Ralph's) represent Hitler and the Nazi's against the allies (America, Great Britain etc). ...read more.

Middle

Frankenstein's character is not constant through the book. At first he is very unorthodox, as he does not consider the views or beliefs of anyone around him. Towards the end of the book he becomes remorseful as he realises that he has created a '...demoniacal corpse.' When Simon died the '...clouds opened and let down the rain like a waterfall.' This is pathetic fallacy as it reflects what is happening in the story. Simon is seen as God- like, and the storm and heavy rain is like God's anger against the savage boys' sin. It is as if they killed the good on the island and it cannot be justified or tolerated. After he is killed the language used is very calming; there was a '...trickle of water' and '...no noise'. This is ethereal, as if Simon's body is being taken by angels up to heaven. The way Simon's dead body '...moved out towards the open sea' is very heavenly. When Simon sees the Lord of the Flies for the first time, Golding says: 'Even if he shut his eyes, the sows head still remained like an after- image...They assured Simon that everything was a bad business.' It is as if Simon is getting a vision from God; the sow's head demonstrated how the hunting has got out of control. God is warning him that what is happening on the island cannot be accepted. After this has happened it is ironic that Simon is killed for being mistaken for 'the beast'. The message given to him was right; the hunting on the island had become a '...bad business.' The difference between the two books is that Frankenstein is a man of science and Simon is a man of spirit. In 'Frankenstein' it is science against religion, where as in 'Lord of the Flies' the human need to survive is put against society. Another character from 'Lord of the Flies' who can be compared to Frankenstein is Jack. ...read more.

Conclusion

Piggy is one of the weaker boys at the bottom; this is why he is victimised. In 'Frankenstein' there is no system of hierarchy, everyone in the text is considered as equal. In both books there is a role reversal. In 'Lord of the Flies' Ralph goes from being leader to an outcast who is left to survive on his own. Jack's hunting tribe eventually over powers Ralph's tribe who want to be rescued. This shows the immaturity of the boys as they forget their priorities. The role reversal in 'Frankenstein' occurs between Frankenstein and the 'creature'. Frankenstein has power over the 'creature' while he is creating him, but when he disowns him; he is left to do what he likes. He becomes more powerful than Frankenstein (and indeed any human being) because of his sheer stature and his increased level of intelligence. Frankenstein is aware of the fact that he does not have any morals as he killed innocent children. The 'creature' realises this: "You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!" Role reversals are used in the text to show that the goodness in a person does not always win. I have already discussed thematic issues within characterisation, but the main theme in both books is about the darkness of Man's soul. The evil side of man, which is inherent in everybody, can be brought out in different situations. The two books show this in different ways. 'Frankenstein' involves an adult world confronted with many scientific changes. 'Lord of the Flies' shows a world entirely populated by children who struggle to survive. However, in both books the same message is delivered; the notion of 'society' breaks down when there is nothing to uphold it. This is explored through the themes of isolation, difference, anger, ambition and obsession. While the boys on the island are unwillingly taken out of society' structure and the 'creature' is forcefully thrust into it, the result is the same- the hidden darkness of mans soul is revealed. ...read more.

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