Comparing the Power of Fiction in Canterbury Tales and Lord of the Flies

Comparing the Power of Fiction in Canterbury Tales and Lord of the Flies

Length: 782 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Power of Fiction Revealed in Canterbury Tales and Lord of the Flies


In accordance with E.M. Foster's analysis of a character's hidden life, a work of fiction gives us a better insight into the theme of a novel. As E.M. Foster said, "Fiction is truer than history, for it is in fiction [and drama] that we can understand the hidden life of the characters." History is the study of past events. It is based mostly on fact, accepted concepts and stories. Fiction is a literical genre in which the author writes about untrue events. The telling of historical events in a novel limits a reader's ability to expand on the text because it is a text based on textual references from the past. Fiction, on the other hand, sets no boundaries for the reader. In fictional literature the reader can expand and point his own picture in his mind without having to question his own creativity. In "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer, the use of type casting in the direct and indirect characterization of the pilgrims shows us their true personalities. While Chaucer uses characterization to reveal his characters. William Golding in his novel, The Lord of the Flies writes through allegorical writing which uses symbolism to portray a bigger meaning than the story's plot.

 

In "The Canterbury Tales" written by Geoffrey Chaucer, the pilgrims are characterized in two different ways to reveal their real intentions. "The Pardoner's Tale" is told by a Pardoner who is characterized in the prologue as selling fake relics. He than in his own tale goes on to denounce greed. By stating the pardoner's own selfishness it contradicts his own religious state in life. A Pardoner forgives others sins, but one with already too much load on his soul would not be able to do that. The Pardoner thinks himself to be a very holy and righteous man but does not realize that his own greed is seen by all the pilgrims after he admits selling fake relics. That makes his sermon of how "Greed is the root of all evil" a total hypocrisy. Chaucer purposely chose a member of a religious community to write a tale on because he wanted to write about unfaithful who sold indulgences to people.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Comparing the Power of Fiction in Canterbury Tales and Lord of the Flies." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=15627>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and Lord of the Flies by William Golding

- Life of Pi is a fictitious adventure novel published and copyrighted in 2001. Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel. Yann Martel has won multiple prizes for his writing, including the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 2001. He also won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in 2001-2003. Life of Pi was produced and made into a movie in 2012. The novel has two sides to it, one being the story as it is being told by the narrator, and the other by the man the narrator is telling the story to....   [tags: compare contrast essay]

Research Papers
1628 words (4.7 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay

- 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....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Research Papers
1815 words (5.2 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay

- Every person has that one person, that when they first meet they can not stand. But after a while they become acquaintances, then friends and finally best friends. In William Golding Lord of the Flies Ralph and Piggy have this type of friendship. Ralph is a very tall, strong and a good mentor for the boys on the island. Where as Piggy is always getting bullied for being obese, having glasses and having asthma which are major setback compared to the other boys. The first couples months Ralph and Piggy do not get along, because Piggy is considered a burden....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay

- In the novel, "Lord of the Flies," a group of British boys are left on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the novel, they have conflicts between civilization and savagery, good vs. evil, order vs. chaos, and reason vs. impulse. What would it be like if the boys were replaced by a group of girls. Would they behave the same way they did in the novel. I believe that the girls would act in the same behavior as the boys in all ways because, everyone is installed with evil inside them which is their natural instinct, also because in life there is always a power struggle in all manners, and the outcome with the girls would be similar-since both sexes would plan on getting resc...   [tags: Lord of the Flies]

Research Papers
4475 words (12.8 pages)

Lord Of The Flies Essay example

- The novel, Lord of the Flies, deals a lot with characterization. The character that stood out the most was Ralph, who was excellently developed by Golding as a leader. The very first time Ralph is introduced to the reader, one can see his sense of observation even in the first sentence that he says: "This is an island, at least I think it's an island. That's a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren't any grownups anywhere." As everyone knows, a good sense of observation is essential for a leader....   [tags: Lord Flies William Golding Book Character Analysis]

Free Essays
919 words (2.6 pages)

Comparing Ralph and Jack to Show How the Characters Change in Lord of the Flies

- Comparing Ralph and Jack to Show How the Characters Change in Lord of the Flies Golding uses many techniques to change his characters as they progress throughout the novel. The main character Ralph is a prime example of this developing character. Both of the boys arrive on the island with a certain manner. They are sensible and being from well brought up families and homes, soon start to work together in harmony on the island. The first time we encounter Ralph is at the beginning of the novel where he is described as "The boy with fair hair…[He had] taken off his school sweater...[His] grey shirt tuck to his back and his hair was plastered to his forehead." The fact he has fair hair and a...   [tags: Lord of the Flies William Golding Essays]

Research Papers
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on William Golding's Lord of the Flies

- William Golding's Lord of the Flies       In the novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding tells the story of a group of boys on an island left out to self survive. The time was World War II when the plane the boys were in was shot down leaving young survivals on a deserted island without any adults. The whole story is about what happens during their stay on the island representing metaphoric ideas of humanity in each incident as Golding describes. Golding has reportedly said that he wrote the novel in response to his personal war experiences....   [tags: Lord Flies William Golding Essays]

Research Papers
5000 words (14.3 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay

- William Golding, in his fictional novel Lord of the Flies, has created one of the most stunningly elaborate, captivating works of American literature. It is a straightforward story of a few shipwrecked schoolboys that dramatically turns into a multifaceted tale of endless deceit, trickery and all out jealousy. It is in this story that three boys, Ralph, Piggy, and Jack, come to play the pivotal parts of leaders to a group of children who are fighting for the right of survival. The first boy is Ralph, a fine example of morals, compassion and friendship....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Free Essays
554 words (1.6 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay

- Lord Of The Flies Book Analysis Title: Lord of the Flies Author: William Golding Date of original publication: 1954 Setting: The setting of Lord of the Flies is somewhat vague. The island is unnamed, and besides stating that it is during wartime, there is no specific date given. The island is uninhabited, and characterized by a beach, jungles, orchards, and a rocky mountain. The jungle that surrounds the characters represents death. It is dark and entangled in vines, which remind the small boys of snakes, and instill fear....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Free Essays
1925 words (5.5 pages)

Lord of the Flies Essay example

- INTELLIGENCE, CIVILIZATION, AND INSTINCTS Often times, authors use characters in their novels and stories as symbols. The characters may be symbolic of the tangible as well as the non-tangible. In addition, characters can often be looked at with a psychological approach to literature in order to better determine or understand their symbolic significance. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, special symbolic significance may be found in the characters, Piggy, Ralph, and Jack. Piggy, the heavy, asthmatic, nearsighted boy, was often teased and ridiculed, however Golding made it obvious to the reader that Piggy was indeed the super ego....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Research Papers
1442 words (4.1 pages)

Related Searches

Those religious abused their powers given to them by the Church for their own financial gain by using people's blind faith as a tool. In turn the whole setting of a religious pilgrimage adds further insult and shame to the Pardoner's character. By writing about the events and problems of his time period, Chaucer provides great insight into a time when corruption ran rampant in the Church. That called for grave help. Chaucer's seemingly first hand account provides a window of knowledge to readers many generations later. That very personal window gives us a lucid interpretation which is not just truer but more entertaining to read than the cold impersonal pages of a history textbook. That close insight on people is also seen in William Golding's The Lord of the Flies, when pre-adolescent boys crash on an unchartered island during WWII and must struggle between civilization and savagery.

 

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a prime example of a piece of literature that shows us the point of view a history book can not. The overall theme of the novel is "civilization versus savagery" and it utilizes several symbols to portray that deeper meaning. The three main characters: Ralph, Piggy, and Jack are used to portray the three states of mind on the island. Ralph being the leader and charismatic one represents the "good" or sane mind. Jack, on the other hand, depicts the "evil" side who gives into his own selfish desires. Finally, Piggy is the logical and intellectual one that calls for order. Although he is the most qualified one to be leader his appearance makes him a mockery. Each of the three symbolically plays their individual roles to portray man's struggle between good and evil. What happens on the island can even be parallel to human behavior in general. A history book would be unable to touch upon human behavior because it is too broad and skeptical of a subject. The feelings of the person are irrelevant to the event.

 

In conclusion, both The Lord of the Flies and "The Canterbury Tales" are excellent examples of literature that is truer than history. By telling it in a way a history book would never and expanding on a time period by talking about its people, William Golding and Geoffrey Chaucer have shown us the bigger picture in each of their novels. Thus doing exactly what E.M. Foster said fiction was.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com