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William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a tale of tragedy and conflict within society.

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Introduction

William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a tale of tragedy and conflict within society. It tells the story of a group of schoolboys, evacuated from England because of a war, who have crash-landed, without any adults, on a tropical island. It shows how they set up a kind of society and how it breaks down and leads to great tragedy. This book was made into a film in 1963 by Peter Brook. The author goes straight into the story by describing a boy, Ralph, as he comes out of the jungle meeting up with another boy, Piggy. The director of the film however starts with a series of still pictures showing what has happened before these boys have crash landed on the island. The pictures are of school life- there are children in a lesson, the sound of a school bell can be heard and a teacher speaking Latin. There is also a group of choirboys singing and cricket is being played. This all makes it seem very English and civilised. Then this mood changes. It goes into a war mode and pictures of warplanes, evacuation boards, schoolchildren and explosions can be seen. Throughout all this the beat of a drum is heard, to hint at something tribal and uncivilised. All this stops abruptly and goes into the story as written in the book. ...read more.

Middle

The camera moves to a mid shot of Simon walking through the bushes. This is meant to look like the beast, but it is clearly Simon. The camera movements and lighting effects, which are too bright, make it obvious that Simon is not a beast. You then see a close-mid shot of the other boys, with one particular boy in the middle shouting, "The beast! The beast!" and pointing at Simon. Only at this point in the film, do we understand that Simon has been mistaken for the beast. The camera then switches to a point of view shot looking from Simon's eyes, from which you can see and hear the boys running, screaming and shouting towards Simon, with their spears in the air. Throughout all this you can hear Simon screaming in fear and pain. The lighting used is natural and in this case comes from the fire. This means that the whole concept of Simon being killed and how it is done is just as successful in the film as it is in Golding's Lord of the Flies. After Simon is killed his body is swept out to sea. In the book, it is described as everyone gathering around the dead body and it slowly drifting out to sea. In the film however the dead body is not shown at all and after the killing a view of the sea can be seen immediately, the screen then fades-out and this ends the scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

We do not see the conch shell at all from the point of Piggy's death onwards, so we must assume that it has gone with Piggy out to sea. Due to the fact that there is no colour used here, the significance of the rock being red is not seen. I think that the director has not shown the conch being smashed into a lot of pieces because the cost of smashing a valuable shell would be quite great. The film, on the whole, followed the story quite accurately although there were a few, not very important parts that were missed out. The film was less confusing than the book because, for the film, sounds and visuals were available. However, the film did make particular points confusing and unrealistic, partly because of the need to use young actors. I feel that most of the mistakes were due to bad cameramen or inexperienced actors. I overcame my prejudices of the film being a bit dull and old-fashioned, because it was in black and white, and I got carried away with the story. I enjoyed watching the film the first time, but it wasn't until afterwards, when I thought about it, that I missed the special effects and colour that is available in modern films. The film director has made a good film adaptation of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" based on the difficulties of making a film from a novel and I was quite satisfied with it. ...read more.

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