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I am comparing and contrasting Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding in 1954 and set on a Pacific island sometime in the future with Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,

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Introduction

I am comparing and contrasting Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding in 1954 and set on a Pacific island sometime in the future with Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, written by R.L. Stevenson in 1886 and set in Victorian London. Evil is personified in there books, but in different ways, as the authors' philosophies are different. Both authors were influenced by books they had read and by their surroundings. There were two sides to Victorian London - the squalor of the old city, with the poverty and disease of the lower classes as well as the prosperous middle-class town. The men who lived in this 'new' town would have had to obey strict codes of morality, for example, to go to church on Sunday and not to drink to excess. Stevenson lived in the new part of Edinburgh and instead of doing what was expected of him, as a young, middle-class man, he sometimes went into the old town. His made Stevenson think of himself as a dual creature, just like Jekyll before he took the potion. He was also affected by the terrible crimes committed in his area, e.g. by Deacon Brodie, who was a craftsman by day and criminal by night, and also by the Penny Dreadfalls - short stories about the supernatural evils. His literary influences include detective stories, since Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde seems to be set out rather like one, as well as Gothic novels, such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and perhaps even Darwin's Origin of the Species, because Darwin thought man was a beast, quite literally, and Hyde is described as "ape-like" and "troglodytic". On the other hand, Golding's literary influences were adventure stories, particularly The Coral Island, a book by R.M. Ballantyne. This and other adventure stories show evil as something that be conquered, but the experience of war made Golding think otherwise. ...read more.

Middle

Both of these killings are associated with madness - "Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment leaned all his weight on the lever," and Jekyll describes how he was suddenly in the "top fit of my delirium," as well as how "no man morally sane could have been guilty of that crime upon so pitiful a provocation". To the reader, both these killings seem crazy because these killers must have felt what could only have been described as insanity. As for rape, even though Lord of the Flies is an allegory, Golding does not let us forget that Jack and Roger are still children, and their passions lie in things other than sex. Yet Golding still manages to make Roger do something similar, Roger pushes his spear into the sow's backside, violating her in this cruel way to kill her. I think this is the first time the narrator uses the female pronoun (apart from when Piggy refers to his aunt), and in the chase paragraph, the words "she" and "her" are used at least twelve times. This constantly reminds the reader that she is female, which makes what Roger does seem all the more like rape. For Hyde, Stevenson does not say exactly what his pleasures are, but because his other self, Jekyll, is an old bachelor, I do not think it would be unlikely that some of them are sexual. When combined with the idea that Hyde seems repulsive to all human beings that encounter him, some or most of his pleasures may involve rape. The boys commit many acts of destruction and violent selfishness, for example they set fire to the forest accidentally when creating their own fire and later on Jack hits Piggy, smashing his glasses. These examples are not as extreme as the incidents later on in the book, e.g. the killing of the sow. This takes place because of Jack. ...read more.

Conclusion

But after its introduction, he uses the prejudices the boys hold against the beast in the same way Ralph makes them associate fire with home. The fear of the beast overpowers this association as the children adapt to their new life and forget about home. The beast is not real, as such, until the parachutist falls on top of the mountain. The beast is the evil in man, and since Golding believes man to be wholly evil, it is quite ironic that what the children mistake for a beast is actually human. The darkness is an ambiguous symbol, which could stand for either tranquillity or evil, but the boys automatically associate it with the latter. The darkness combined with the shape of the parachutist give the five boys that see it so an image that becomes, in their imagination, more exaggerated and grotesque. "The beast had teeth and big black eyes", says Ralph - it is a terrible distortion of the dead parachutist, but this distortion was enough proof for them that the beast existed, and being able to prove the beast's existence gives Jack more power. He has justification for his actions - to keep the beast at bay as if it were some sort of evil deity. A primitive religion of sorts develops, with the rituals and sacrifices primitive religions are thought to have. And yet it is the boys themselves who hard the island and one another, their belief in the beats is the cause of Simon's death and the sow's death. This "beast" would not have harmed either. In Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, one of the not-so-major themes is secrecy and mystery. Stevenson preserves the mystery right up to the end by using an unusual narrative technique, whereby there are many narrators, e.g. Utterson, Enfield and the maidservant, so that Dr. Jekyll's secret is not revealed. The symbols that Stevenson uses to shoe secrecy are doors and the thick fog that surrounds London. ...read more.

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