Island in Robinson Crusoe, the Coral Island and Lord of the Flies
Compare and Contrast the ways in which "Robinson Crusoe", "the Coral
Island" and "Lord of the Flies" present and develop the experience of
being marooned on a desert island. Show how the texts reflect the
ideas and beliefs of its own author and the period in which it was
In all three novels a person or a group of people are marooned on a
desert/tropical island. All three crash of scupper on or near the
island they eventually live on. What is also important is that the
islands are great distances from other civilisation and frequented
shipping lanes. As such, the prospect of leaving the island or being
rescued quickly is a distant one. All three parties know this and
deal, or equally do not deal, with this fact. Oddly, the party that
get rescued quickest and have the highest chance of a quick rescue do
not deal with live away from civilisation very well at all, William
Golding's "Lord of the Flies".
Crusoe arrives on his island in a shipwreck. He thrown ashore when the
life-raft he was in is tipped over into the sea. By some miracle he is
washed ashore and lives whereas the rest of the crew of his ship are
lost. His arrival is tempestuous, just like the boys from "Coral
Island". They too crash their ship on rocks, in their case the Great
Barrier Reef, but they don't know that. The three of them, Ralph, Jack
and Peterkin are washed ashore whereas the rest of their crew is lost
also. The arrival is an angry one, but it is soon forgotten and the
boys make good their isle. The arrival of the boys from "Lord of the
Flies" is highly destructive. They crash land in an aeroplane, the
2oth century's shipwreck. Their coming causes gr...
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...g but animals. For Golding, this is the fall of mankind,
to drop from grace. Yet for Golding there is no redemption, no
salvation. You can link that to Christian theology, the apparent fall
of the Jews from the grace of God, the saving grace of the butchered
Christ. Reading into it a little more, Simon is the Christ figure for
Golding. His death at the hands of his fellow boys is an apparent link
to Christ. An even more tenuous link is that Simon's own name can
moved around a little to fit in with that of Peter, the Rock of Jesus.
Peter's original was Simon; he is even refereed to as Simon-Peter. Yet
even with Simon's sacrifice, there is no saving grace, no return to
God. Mankind's failure is a complete one, with no way out of it.
Mankind's heart is too dark and evil for that. This a heavily
humanistic, pessimistic view that clashes with Defoe's optimistic