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Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and William Golding's 'Lord Of The Flies' both portray 'the evil in man' in different ways. How do they portray them and what views do the authors have on this topic?

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Introduction

Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and William Golding's 'Lord Of The Flies' both portray 'the evil in man' in different ways. How do they portray them and what views do the authors have on this topic? In this comparative book essay I will be analysing 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley and 'Lord Of The Flies' by William Golding. Both books share a common theme, 'the evil in man'. This theme is portrayed in various ways in the two books. I will be investigating how they are depicted and the views the authors have on this issue. Frankenstein is set in Geneva, Switzerland. The protagonist is a man named Victor Frankenstein, a man whose unquenchable thirst for knowledge leads him into a web of destruction. His adolescent years are peaceful and perfect, 'no human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself'. He is brought up in a faultless family, surrounded by his two parents who love and care for him unconditionally, 'my parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence'. Lord Of The Flies is set on a remote, tropical, imaginary island. A plane has crashed whilst evacuating children from a war torn country. ...read more.

Middle

Mary must have felt that wherever she went, evil followed, as those closest to her were snatched away. She portrayed this in Frankenstein as Victor's family was destroyed by the monster, symbolic of the evil she felt followed her. Mary's marriage is also represented in Frankenstein. Mary's marriage to Percy Shelley was the happiest time of her life before he was killed. In the same way, Victor's marriage to Elizabeth was the only joy he had felt in a long time, when just as suddenly she was murdered by the monster, again symbolising the evil that Mary felt killed her husband. Mary also describes very vividly the pain that Victor felt, leading us to believe that she must have felt the same pain and agony. She reveals this in many situations such as the quotes, 'the overflowing misery I now felt, and the excess of agitation that I endured rendered me incapable of any exertion' and, 'a fiend had snatched from me every chance of future happiness; no creature had ever been so miserable as I was'. The ending of the story was that the death of Victor Frankenstein led the monster to believe that his work was done, and so the monster burned himself to death. ...read more.

Conclusion

However if one digs deeper it is just a continuation from one war to another. Once all the boys get on the Navy cruiser, they'll most likely just be subjected to more battle and fighting, this time on a worldwide level, due to the war taking place in the outside world. To conclude, the common theme in both novels was the evil in man. Both authors had their own experiences that led them to believe that evil resides amongst all of us. They both took their experiences and portrayed them in novels filled with symbolism. Mary Shelley believed that evil is constantly around us, and that no-one can escape. She believed that man has an evil inside of him so powerful that it can lead to the destruction of his own soul. William Golding's understanding was that every man is born with evil inside him. He didn't believe in man's innocence after the second world war. He found that even children are not innocent, saying, 'No one is innocent until the society and the way of his life make him to pretend that he's innocent. But sometimes, when a man is facing a difficult situation then he will probably show his other nature, the dark and guilty nature.' Shyam Kanabar ...read more.

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