Compare the Threats to Civilisation in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the Stolen Bacillus by H. G. Wells

Compare the Threats to Civilisation in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the Stolen Bacillus by H. G. Wells

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Compare the threats to civilisation in the Lord of the Flies by
William Golding and the Stolen Bacillus by H. G. Wells

The threats to civilisation in the two books, Lord of the Flies and
the Stolen Bacillus, are presented to they reader in many ways. There
are many differences between the two but, there are also similarities.
Both show threat to the society in which they live and, therefore,
civilisation.

In the Lord of the Flies the threat and cause of the eventual demise
of society is people, themselves. This threat comes from within
themselves because of the boys love of violence and greed but, also
because of the fight for power on the island.

In the Stolen Bacillus the threat comes from one, crazed, man, and
anarchist, seeking recognition. But this threat also comes from the
science of the time and the Bacillus cholera.

The two books are also influenced by the by the historical period in
which they were written.

The time in which the Lord of the Flies was written, in 1954, was at
the end of World War II. William Golding has used this influence in
writing his book; he is trying to use the situation on the island to
relate to the wider world and the attitude of the time, which was
geared to war and the effects it has on people.

The Stolen Bacillus, written in 1894, has drawn in influence from
science, which at the time was only just becoming known to the world.
Because of this people were wary of the new-fangled discovery.

There are five main characters involved in the civilisation issue in
Lord of the Flies. These characters are Jack, Roger, Ralph, Piggy and
Simon.

The characters that pose a threat to civilisation on the island are
Jack, who becomes a self-elected leader, and Roger, who is Jacks
lieutenant.

Jack is described as being small with red hair, representing anger and
aggression, and "ugly without silliness", this is when we are first
introduced to Jack in the novel. He is a middle class, privately
educated boy and is the head choir boy. Jack is extremely arrogant and
self-righteous as shown in the quote "I ought to be chief, said Jack
with simple arrogance." Jack has a great thirst for power and part of
the way through the novel he attacks Ralph's leadership style and
breaks out to form a group of his own, 'the tribe of hunters'. Jacks
thirst for power and dominance pulls down the once civilised 'tribe'
of boys', to a tribe of killers and cruel and evil small boys'.

Roger is described as 'sadistic' and gets pleasure out of being cruel.

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He throws stones from within a dark hiding place, somewhat showing his
character. Evil, cruel, he could even be described as the child of the
devil, throwing them at the 'littlt'ns' finding it funny. Roger is a
pre-meditated killer, planning out what they, himself and Jack, will
do to Ralph when they catch him, at the end of 'Cry of the hunters'.
He is also the deliberate killer of Piggy, so, Roger plays a big part,
along with Jack, in the threat to civilisation in the Lord of the
Flies. Two people who are so cruel and evil would pose a big threat to
civilisation in the eider world but, especially in a confined space
such as that of the island.

Ralph is the elected leader on the island when the boys' first meet.
He is the complete opposite of Jack and is a descent and honest
leader. Ralph is described as "athletic", "good looking", "broad
shouldered" and is said "to have a mildness about his mouth and eyes'
that proclaimed no devil." Ralph is the character giving hope to the
group, the character that tries to stop the threat to civilisation,
the civilisation that the boys' on the island started with.

Piggy provides the reality and practicality to the island. He is the
one who warns everyone of what is happening, of the threats to
civilisation. He is bullied by most of the other boys' because of his
appearance, plump, glasses, ugly, looks like a pig (hence the
nickname), and is from a lower class background. But, along with
Ralph, he is a protester for a civilised society; he does not want to
see the society of democracy and freedom turn into an autocracy where
you are told what to do by a 'dictator'. Piggy is also the 'brains' on
the island and looks at the situation realistically, "we may stay here
till we die." This is why Piggy does not want the civilisation on the
island to be threatened and broken down.

Simon, who is described as having black hair, skinny and as being "a
vivid little boy", is extremely introvert. He plays quite a major role
within the body of the novel. This is because of the symbolism that
surrounds his character. Simon is a symbol of spiritualism and
religion, and who represents God and morals on the island. This is
shown in many quotes, but is best represented when his body "gently
moves out into the open sea", using words such as "silver", "gently"
and "softly". When Simon is killed this is the point at which the
spiritualism, religion and morals leave the island almost completely.
This is the point at which the threats to civilisation can take over
the island and transform it into an uncivilised, evil society, a
'tribe'.

In the Stolen Bacillus there is similar character reference. But, in
the Stolen Bacillus there are only two main characters. One of these
poses the threat to civilisation and one is trying to stop this
threat. These two characters are 'the pale faced man', who's name we
never get to know, and the bacteriologist, who is the character trying
to stop the threat.

The "Pale faced man" is an anarchist seeking recognition, and at the
end of the story, martyrdom. The "pale faced man" is described with
"lank black hair and deep grey eyes', the haggard expression and
nervous manner." He has a fascination in the bacterium, cholera, as we
find from the quote, "satisfaction appeared momentarily in the face of
the pale man." He is the threat because he wants the cholera to
breakdown the civilised society of the great city of London. The "pale
faced man" is the Stolen Bacillus's equivalent of Jack from Lord of
the Flies, and in some senses Jack could also been seen as an
anarchist.

The bacteriologist is a scientist, and the character that cultivates
the bacillus cholera that poses the threat to civilisation. We do not
really get a description of the bacteriologist, apart from, "The
bacteriologist, hatless, and in his carpet slippers." From this
description you may see him as a middle aged, middle class man. He is
trying to stop the threat, and so, could be said to match Ralph from
Lord of the Flies.

The writers of the two stories present to us the threats and the
characters that are trying to stop the threats in both of the stories.
And they do this by providing us with two sides in each story, the
side that wants a civilised society and the side that wants to break
down civilisation.

The Lord of the Flies is set on an island. The island is described in
the book with "sea on either side, and the crystal heights of air",
"Circular horizon of water," and "jungly flat of the island, dense
green, but drawn at the end to a pink tail." This portrays images of
luscious green and tropical savannah. This setting is perfect for a
civilised society, and does so for a while. But, fire spreads through
the island, burning down fruit trees, killing future food supplies
(animals), and even killing the boy with the mulberry patch on his
face. It burns down because of the boys' stupidity and because the
fire was not supervised properly. This marks one of the first stages
of civilisation breaking down. The island is the 'society' in which
the boys', at first, flourish but, then, in stages, break down into
savages, all but Ralph and Piggy.

There are then two places within this setting, one with Ralph as the
leader and one with Jack rules. The platform, where Ralph leads,
portrays certain characteristics of Ralph. The platform is a flat,
triangle shape surrounded by tropical palm trees'. This shows Ralph as
straightforward, caring and democratic/equal. Castle rock, where Jack
rules, is described to us to be in levels, "The rock of the cliff was
split and the top littered with great lumps that seemed to totter."
This shows, like the platform, certain characteristics of Jack. It
shows him as a challenging, violent and as a dictator. Jack likes the
'fort', he puts himself at the top level, above everyone else, he
thinks of it as a new toy, and he wants to play with it. But, it is
also somewhere in which he could kill somebody, showing the evilness.
Castle Rock becomes the centre for the threat to civilisation.

The writer has presented us, the reader, a setting in which the threat
can flourish. He has presented us with a small island, a confined
space, where the group of boys COULD flourish. But, they choose not to
and the threat wins.

The setting in the Stolen Bacillus is very different from that of the
Lord of the Flies.

In the Stolen Bacillus the setting is one of a big city, the capital
city of Britain, London. London, full of large buildings and roads.
This is set in a city where a civilised society is imperative, and if
were broken down would cause chaos and destruction. It is the centre
of Britain and world trade, the economy of Britain would be destroyed.

While on the cab chase the bacteriologists and "pale faced man" go
through a few places of London named in the story. Havelock Crescent,
Haverstock Hill, Camden Town High Street and Great Saint Andrew's
Street. We are told of these streets to show we are in a large city
which is full of people who are all in threat from one, single, man.

Again, the writer has presented to us a setting in which civilisation
could flourish, and that could get broken down by any threats that are
posed to it.

So, the settings and places, and the things they show, are extremely
different in the two stories. But, in both, the threat to society and
civilisation would, if carried out, cause catastrophic effects on the
everyday lives of the people living in them, and the wider world.

In the Lord of the Flies there is a very specific tone. The tone of
the story is one of fear, power, aggression and greed.

All of this tone is incorporated into the novel to show how a
civilised society ends up if destroyed by a few individuals and how
much destruction just those few individuals, can do in a matter of
days/weeks/months or years.

All this fear, power, aggression and greed are brought upon by one
individual, Jack! Jack rules his tribe of hunters by fear. But, the
novels begins on a good note with rules, morality, religion and
democracy, a tone of fairness and equal being on the island. That tone
is not to last. The tone of fear also includes death on the island.
The first death is caused by carelessness among the boys'. Then Simon
gets killed in a savage frenzy, "the beast was on its knees in the
centre, its arms folded over its face." We later find the beast to be
Simon, a mistake. Then Piggy gets killed, intentionally, by Roger.
This is pre meditated and Jack approves. The whole tribe then tries to
kill Ralph, the "sharpen a stick at both ends."

These deaths are all threats to the civilised society and the increase
in the intent of the deaths show the demise of civilisation.

The writer presents to the reader a tone which incorporates the
threats to civilisation. A tone that would bring any type of
civilisation down.

In the Stolen Bacillus there are two tones. One of fear, as in the
Lord of the Flies, and one of comedy, which you do not find in the
Lord of the Flies.

The fear comes from the "pale faced man" and the cholera.

The fear that the cholera could infect the waters of London, which we
see when the bacteriologist describes what, would happen. He says
things such as "Go forth, increase and multiply, and replenish the
cisterns," "death-mysterious, untraceable death, death swift and
terrible." These lines instil a tone of fear and death in the readers
mind and what the cholera could do instils the threat to society and
civilisation, and along with the full description gives us the full
picture of what could happen, if it got into the hands of the wrong
person.

The comedy comes in at the middle of the story, during the cab chase.
The cab men watching start to annotate the chase, saying things like,
"Go it George!" "She's a goer, she is!" and "strike me giddy!"

This comedy is to, somewhat, portray the eventual ending of the story
to us. Also, because the writer is trying to portray the fact that
science is not a threat, it is something that will help us live a
better quality of life, it is interesting.

The comedy comes at the end when we find out that the strain of
cholera that the "pale faced man" has stolen, only actually turns
people blue, "it turned that kitten blue, and three puppies-in
patches, and the sparrow-bright blue." Again this is to portray the
fact that science should not be seen as a threat, but as something to
help you, to laugh at.

The writer, like in Lord of the Flies, has presented to us a tone in
which civilised society can prosper, but, he has also presented to us
a tone of comedy, to inform us of his views on science.

The length of the two stories is very different. One is only a short
story and one is a full novel.

The Lord of the Flies is the long novel and is for one reason. This is
because |William Golding presents to us, the reader, the threats to
civilisation in carefully planned out stages, to show us the demise of
civilisation in the most realistically possible way.

The Stolen Bacillus is the short novel. This is because H. G. Wells
wishes to express his views on science and does not need to present
this in stages. Perhaps he wishes to entertain the reader, inform and
explain to us about science, and threats to civilisation.

In conclusion, both Lord of the Flies and the Stolen Bacillus present
the threat to civilisation in different ways, but, they do have
similarities as well as differences. The Lord of the Flies civilised
society breaks down in stages because of one individual, Jack, who
poses the threat because of his greed and thirst for power, and this I
presented to the reader throughout the book.

In the Stolen Bacillus the threat to civilisation comes from, also,
one individual, "the pale faced man", but, also from science, the
cholera.

But, perhaps the books have wider meanings. The Lord of the Flies is
influenced by the wider world and William Golding is trying to
represent whet he sees' going on in the world around him. In the
Stolen Bacillus H. G. Wells, who supported science, is trying to
inform others that science is not a threat.

So, really what we have to ask ourselves is what is portrayed to us in
these two books, what would really happen if our modern society were
to break down? Would we survive?
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