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Lord of the Flies

Hidden inside every human being is the urge to obide by law and authority and to act civilised, but hidden much deeper is the temptation to resist acting lawfully and resort to savagery. Sometimes, these two impulses conflict with one another and people are confused as to which desire to follow through with. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and John Polson’s Hide and Seek are two prime examples that demonstrate the conflict between civilised behaviour and savagery through their characters’ cultured manners, savage impulses and struggles as they decide who they really are as people.

The instinct to follow rules and act in a civilised manner is highlighted throughout the first four chapters of Lord of the Flies, but is especially perceptible in the boys’ behaviour when they first arrive on the island. The first chapter, The Sound of the Shell focuses on Ralph’s discovery of the island and his joy at the fact that there are “No grown-ups!” (p.12) present and so he can do as he pleases. His companion Piggy however, is obedient to the authority of his home life as he will not run, swim or blow the conch when Ralph does because his aunty told him not to “on account of his asthma”. (p.13) The repetition of Piggy’s referral to his aunty and her rules emphasise his conformity. The formation of an assembly, the ruling of Ralph as chief and the creation of rules on the island such as “‘hands up’ like at school” also comply with the social standards of order and democracy that they had to obide by in England. Jack, representing a figure of authority, leads his choir who comply with his commands even though they are not at home anymore. “The choir belongs to you, of course.” (p.31) The choirs’ great compliance to their leader foreshadows t...

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...shouldn’t’ be there, but does not actually tell her to go away. Brutality is also evident in Emily’s actions - while smiling threateningly she destroys a doll infront of the little girl. A close-up camera angle is used during this act to reinforce Emily’s evil intentions. The characters’ battle to resolve the conflict between following their natural instincts and satisfying their ultimate desires to kill is achieved in both texts with the impulses of violence prevailing.

From the analysis of the characters’ actions, words and personalities from the novel Lord of the Flies and the movie Hide and Seek, it is evident that both texts represent the conflict existing between morality and sin through their use of the narrative devices of repetition, alliteration and foreshadowing as well as the film techniques of intruding close-up angle shots and manipulative lighting.
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