William Golding's Lord of the Flies and John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

William Golding's Lord of the Flies and John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

Length: 674 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Think of two twins who are not physically alike but have reflecting and opposite personalities. These two people are shadows of one another and resemble the duality of good vs. evil. These types of counterpart characters are known as doppelgangers. A doppelganger is an alter ego of one's charisma. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, the characters Ralph/Jack and Gene/Finny represent doppelgangers, explaining how they complement each other and maintain supremacy.
One significant pair of characters who separate is Ralph and Jack. Their dual natures cause differences among themselves due to various reasons. From a physical standpoint, Jack is described as “tall, thin, and bony: and his hair was red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness.”(Golding) With an immoral self image, Jack is looked upon to be unattractive. Meanwhile, Ralph is enticing and has an energetic physique. “He is fair and well built, might grow into a boxer but never into a devil, for he is sunny and decent, sensible, considerate.” (Golding) Both identities can now be distinctly seen as opposites that repel one another. On the contrary, Gene and Finny also parallel each other’s egos and motivations. “His combined good looks, fine sense of balance and tremendous energy create the sense of an academic.” (Slethaug 259-270) Finny, who is a multi-sport athlete, has an almighty body and is seen throughout encouraging himself/others to be creative. On the other hand, Gene is the clever and resentful one; his jealousy causes him to revert to evil. “The reader sees Gene as the typically malevolent betraying pursuer of the double tradition.” (Slethaug 259-270) In comparison, Gene and Jack ar...


... middle of paper ...


...and enmity increases and this reverts into evil. “Gene has discovered that his private evil, which caused him to hurt Phineas, is the same evil--only magnified--that results in war.” (Ellis 313-317) Gene pushes Finny off the tree so he could take Finny’s role in society. Overall, the conflict of supremacy remains as one with no boundaries where brotherly friends switch into hatred and power to rule turns regular boys into savages.
In the end, these doubles are influential characters who manipulate other people and places. Doppelgangers can be found simply by looking at differing personalities and their path to dominance. Their impact on society can be viewed as right vs. wrong. Now through research and supportive evidence doppelgangers can be found across many literary pieces and they can allow readers to examine common principles of reflecting characters.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

William Golding's Lord of the Flies and John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

- ... “He is fair and well built, might grow into a boxer but never into a devil, for he is sunny and decent, sensible, considerate.” (Golding) Both identities can now be distinctly seen as opposites that repel one another. On the contrary, Gene and Finny also parallel each other’s egos and motivations. “His combined good looks, fine sense of balance and tremendous energy create the sense of an academic.” (Slethaug 259-270) Finny, who is a multi-sport athlete, has an almighty body and is seen throughout encouraging himself/others to be creative....   [tags: duality of good verus evil]

Better Essays
674 words (1.9 pages)

Analysis of John Knowle's A Separate Peace, and William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

- Civilization versus savagery, order versus chaos, reason versus impulse, law versus anarchy, or simply good versus evil infinitely describe the dreadful encounters of humanity. Every battle, every political struggle, every account of internal strife embodies these conflicts. World War II demonstrates the key clash of good versus evil within society, being the most deadly, destructive and consequential war in history. After beginning in 1939, the war raged for six more years. The war’s estimated fatalities reach as high as 70 million, opening everyone’s eyes....   [tags: Compare&Contrast, Human Nature]

Better Essays
1688 words (4.8 pages)

A War Ridden Childhood: Analysis Comparing Lord of the Flies by William Golding and a Separate Peace by John Knowles

- Beyond one’s personal world, there is a bigger world open to everyone. Because of how open the world is, humans are exposed to events outside of their own surroundings so much that one is bound to become influenced by these events and even begin to revolve their own thinking around the main outside influence. Lord of the Flies is about a group of young English schoolboys who all get plane wrecked on an uninhabited island and have to survive on their own until rescued. Within Lord of the Flies by William Golding, several hints of war and symbols of war are dropped periodically throughout the time that the Ralph and the boys are stuck on the island....   [tags: war, symbol, world, evil]

Better Essays
903 words (2.6 pages)

Understood Objects of Symbolism in the Novel "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

- In every novel, an object may represent something other than what it actually is. Lord of the Flies of by William Golding has several of these objects in it. An explanation for what objects hold symbolic meaning is would be like how snow may represent delight and happiness for a child. These objects also add side stories and add detail to the novel. Three objects that hold immense symbolic meaning in Lord of the Flies are the beast, the conch, and the signal fire. To begin with, one object that holds great symbolic meaning is the beast....   [tags: Lord of the Flies, William Golding, Symbolism,]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on William Golding's Lord of the Flies: The Joy of Hating Piggy

- William Golding's Lord of the Flies: The Joy of Hating Piggy      In many novels there's usually a character the reader loves to hate. Whether that character be a loser, a loner, or someone who's just chubby, we all have made fun of that particular person at least once in our lives. Throughout William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, he illustrates the joy of readers in hating Piggy's character.      In the beginning of the novel, when Ralph meets Piggy after the plane crash, Piggy regretfully tells Ralph what the kids used to call him at school, “ They used to call me ‘Piggy'.”(1) Ralph then shrieks with laughter and makes fun of Piggy's nickname, “Piggy....   [tags: William Golding Lord of the Flies]

Free Essays
773 words (2.2 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)

Essay on Symbolism of the Conch in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

- Symbolism of the Conch in Lord of the Flies by William Golding In William Golding's Lord of the Flies the Conch represents power and order. Power is represented by the fact that you have to be holding it to speak, and Order is displayed by the meetings or gatherings that its used to call and hold. The Conch's power is presented in the very beginning on pg 22 as the children vote for Ralph to be chief just because he was the one with the Conch. ' "Him with the shell." "Ralph. Ralph!" "Let him be chief with the trumpet thing" ' this excerpt from pg 22 shows how everybody seems to think that power, responsibility and leadership skills comes from the Conch....   [tags: Lord of the Flies William Golding Conch Essays]

Free Essays
629 words (1.8 pages)

The End of Innocence in Lord of the Flies Essay examples

- The End of Innocence in Lord of the Flies   William Golding wrote the novel Lord of the Flies "to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature."(Golding) He wanted to show that humans naturally live in savagery and ignorance with little knowledge on how to live together peacefully. To accomplish his premise Golding strands a group of boys on an island who then must set up government in an attempt to survive.  The story uses heavy symbolism to compare the life on the island to the entire civilization of the world....   [tags: Lord Flies Essays]

Better Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Character Development in Lord of the Flies Essay

- Character Development in Lord of the Flies The ability to create characters of depth plagues many a contemporary writer. Many of those writers should look to William Golding for expertise on this issue. Golding diverges from the path of contemporary authors and sets an example of how character development should be accomplished in his novel, Lord of the Flies. Golding's Ralph exemplifies this author's superior style of character development in this novel. At the commencement of the novel, the author introduces Ralph as an innocent boy far from adulthood....   [tags: Lord Flies Essays]

Free Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)

Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies Essay example

- Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies, a suggestive name for the Devil, a devil whose name proposes that he is devoted to decay, destruction, demoralization and panic, exactly what William Golding had in mind when using symbolism in this novel. The Lord of the Flies (1954), is a novel in which interpretating the symbols are a main key to not only understanding, but also enjoying the novel. After tying many of the symbols together, you can figure out more about what the author is trying to depict, the overall scene....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]

Better Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)