Thursday, July 22, 2010

Comparative Essay on Lord of the Flies

Comparative Essay on Lord of the Flies

The actions of Jack and Simon, the situations in which they place themselves and the reactions of other characters show the diversity of Jack and Simon. Jack is bold where Simon is subtle and the boys on the island mistake these qualities to make a good leader.

Through the actions of Jack and Simon we see their most obvious differences. It is clear that Jack is aggressive where Simon is timid. In several meetings we see Jack stand before the assembly and speak freely on how he feels things should be run, Simon however will rarely ask to speak and is easily discouraged from doing so. Jack always points out that they need hunters for the island this shows his savagery. Jack is very controlling, this is demonstrated when Jack starts his own tribe and uses the fear of the beast as a way to make the other boys join his tribe. Simon however is civilized and sees the natural beauty in the island (and therefore innocence) because of this he gains the knowledge that the beast is not real, but a mere presence of innate human evil.

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From the reactions of other characters in the book we see the respect that Jack receives in comparison to Simon. The other boys are obedient and listen attentively to Jack, but they often snicker and make fun of Simon. Again this is most prominent in the meetings. When Jack speaks all of the boys listen to what he has to say and the hunters are especially attentive. Simon on the other hand chooses to be quite and only makes reflections within himself because of how the other boys disregard him.

The situations in which Jack and Simon place themselves show their different personalities. Once Jack becomes the chief of his own tribe he quickly gains control over the other boys in his group. This is shown when Ralph and Piggy go to the feast and see that Jack now has the other boys as his servants. This hints that Jack is dependent on the respect and attention of the other boys on the island. Without this attention Jack assume no special authority. Simon is a very independent character; he is the one who poses the idea that the beast is not a real creature but something inside all humans. He is also the one who is confronted by the Lord of the Flies and realizes that the figure on the top of the mountain is a dead soldier with a flapping parachute. Even in the settings that they two boys place themselves we see their diverse characteristics. Jack situates himself at Castle Rock while Simon climbs into a hidden a Jungle Glade. Symbolically, Castle Rock is much like hell, full of fear and violence with one person in charge. Jack being this person represents the devil’s advocate. The true devil in The Lord of The Flies is the innate human evil. Simon’s hidden Jungle Glade represents The Garden of Eden in that it is a pure and safe place to be. Simon can be by himself and feel very protected and secure by simply marveling at the beauty of nature.

We see that Jack gives into the evil within himself and lets go of all his innocence, where Simon rationalizes what is happening to the boys on the island and preserves his innocence. Although Jack gains authority over the island through his actions, surroundings and the way other characters react to him we see that he cannot preserve his innocence as easily as Simon. I believe this is because Simon stays quiet and does not strive to power over the other boys. In the end we see that even though Jack is the appointed leader and lives till the boys are rescued that he has died and lost all of his childhood fun. In comparison, Simon dies on the island trying to explain to the boys what has really happened to him but his innocence lives until the end of his days.

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