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The presentation of evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies and R.L.Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

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Introduction

The presentation of evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies and R.L.Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde William Golding's Lord of the Flies and R.L Stevensons's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde both present evil in many ways. The way evil is presented varies from each author mainly because of the different societies the books where written in. Golding wrote his book from his experience of life at the time of 1950-1954. From viewing his interview on the south bank show he wrote his book with other novels in mind, such as Treasure Island and Coral island. He viewed these books as being too conventional so he went out to write against the traditional island book. In the other island books it always seems that society can adapt to their surroundings very easily. However, Golding wanted to show that adapting to a different society could be very difficult and problematic. Things that can normally be dealt with easily in society can be very hard to deal with when in different surroundings. A lot of Golding's ideas came from the war in which he fought in, which was driven by pure evil in Nazi Germany (quoted by Golding). When Golding wrote 'Lord of the files' a lot of theories about human behaviour were floating around. One of the people generating such theories was Sigmund Fraud. ...read more.

Middle

When the children finally murder Simon there is an actual storm and as Simon walks out of the darkness like an evil spirit the lighting flashes upon his face. The way Golding has made Simon come out of the darkness is traditional image of evil, an example of this is modern day murder films when the killer primarily comes out from the darkness. Both Golding and Stevenson bring out the most in the setting to portray evil, and this gives the reader a sense of reality. From a quote by Dr Sui a Chinese fear specialist said "Fear is not in your mind but it is around you". I think Dr Sui is suggesting that the fear some people hold in them be mainly worked by their settings. Setting is important to create the sense of evil but I think that the characters in the novels have big part to play in conveying evil. From Lord of the Files, there are both good and bad characters and each of these characters are good in their own way. Ralph is a good character but he is very special as through Ralph's eyes we can see the degradation of the society on the island, and thereby show the natural evil within man. At the start he is described "good", "like a boxer" shows us that he is a physically well able and "mildness and proclaimed no devil". ...read more.

Conclusion

However if these instincts are elapsed then this gives way to evil, thus suggesting that the evil in both books be from inside of the character. If this is true then the beast that was on the island was just a figure of the imagination and by this Golding suggest that some biblical reference of the Devil may be incorrect due to it just being in the imagination of the person. This however isn't certain as some theories have suggested that the man's brain always tries to find answers and if the answers aren't there or aren't obvious then the brain invents something in its place. As in Lord of the Flies the brain can't find an answer for the evil happening so it invents the beast. Now because Golding can't really find evidence of there being some devil inside of the children, Goldings brain comes up with the theory that evil is a product of human natural instinctive actions. However Stevenson's theory is that there is a split person with one side pure good and one side pure evil. When they are together the evil is controllable but when evil is with out the good it is very dangerous. Both of these theories are acceptable, and both Golding and Stevenson have done well to assemble their books around each of their theories. I think it is impossible to really tell which theory is correct but the purpose of this essay was to view the way each author presented evil and that I have achieved that. ...read more.

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