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Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm Comparison

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These two books, despite the vastly different themes and story lines, both display similar meanings. Orwell’s story tells of farmyard disorder and the fatal lives of a group of farmyard animals. It is just as politically minded as Golding’s tale of a life or death situation for a group of boys stranded on an island left with the supposed task of installing democracy into their new lives.

The two books display themes of a slightly similar nature. They both focus on certain points, they both revolve around vague diplomacy, and democracy and sovereignty and both shed an eye opening, frightening light on drastic realities like in ‘Animal Farm’ where “executions went on repeatedly”. They show that the world that we live in is predominantly run by these who have the strength of mind, and character to brush the emotionally weak aside, in order to go for their goals. These people posses a killer instinct that take them one step further towards a safer life. The leader of the pack in Orwell’s book is Napoleon the pig. He does not start out this way but he does seize control and is thus likened to both Napoleon Bonaparte, the French dictator, and Stalin, the Communist, Russian dictator.

Napoleon considered the other animals to be inferior, a lower class of beings that were only good enough to accept orders. An example of Napoleons pure callousness is a scene, after the explosion of Snowball where Napoleon invokes a meeting and the confession of crimes from the animals. He followed this up by having the animals slaughtered on the spot. “And so the tale of confessions and slaughters continued until there was a pile of corpses laying before Napoleons feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood.” This shows just how cruel and power hungry Napoleon really was. Alternatively in Golding’s tale, the leader, Ralph, is a much more laid back character, although he does possess the sinister undertones of a possible evil presence. His means of being bad are a lot more underhanded and quiet and mostly unintentional. For example, a ship passes the island, but Jack has let the fire die out. Ralph proceeds to berate and belittle Jack in front of his fellow island inhabitants, saying “I was chief; and you were going to do what I said. You talk – but you can’t even build huts – then you go off hunting, and left the fire out.” But Ralph loves the feeling of being the leader.

Being able to boss people around, despite his constant and enthralling power struggle with Jack. However you can tell when reading the lines like: “More wood, all of you get more wood” make it seem obvious that he really does enjoy the ordering people to do things. Eventually weakness in character lets Ralph get overthrown by Jack. Jack is much the same as Ralph only a lot more combative and hasty. He is more harsh, violent and more dangerous. Jack’s leadership skills are just as dictatorial and aggressive as Napoleons. Both of their skills and attitudes are alike and this is clear when reading the books in which they appear. Both books have two characters of great similarity. The first is Piggy; the side kick in Lord of the Flies. The second is Squealer; Napoleons messenger and deliverer of propaganda in Animal Farm. Both show some weaknesses in character, but also strength of mind. Piggy’s naivety and dependability is shown often throughout Golding’s book. Piggy’s naivety and dependable nature is portrayed in “open admiration” and reliance upon Ralph.

Piggy also shows the inability to fully fit in amongst his piers; his naivety and lack of social experience, often leads him into situations which he would rather not be in, for example he is often the subject he used to humour the other boys. ‘He whispered “They used to call me ‘Piggy’! Ralph shrieked with laughter.” Squealer, however, learns to use his brains to manipulate the rest of the animals, who are perhaps not as clever as him. His ‘complex’ tales and stories are used to deceive his fellow comrades, and without him you wonder if Napoleons power would be upheld, or even seized in the first place. In more than one instances Squealer twists the truth, to sect both his and his leader’s means. “Now when Squealer described the scene so graphically, it seemed to the animals that they did remember it.” This is similar to the time when Jack uses the imagery of the ‘Beast’ to win the other boy’s obedience. Squealers persuasive character provides him any easy opportunity to turn a lie into a supposed truth. Piggy, however, fails to show this ability, and this is proved when he fails to uphold Ralph’s leadership over the other boys. Piggy fails to take advantage of his obviously smart mind.

The language used in both books has to be vastly different to allow the stories to be effective. In Animal Farm, the story line of a group of animals running a farm means that in order for this to be justifiable, the animals have to be very clever and adult. The animals, particularly the ones like Napoleon, display great knowledge, and in some cases, common sense and ethics. They understand about propaganda knowing “they must send out more and more pigeons to stir up a rebellion”. This however is not displayed in all the animals, which is another similarity in better animals. For this reason the language used has to display Orwell’s intention for the book to be taken as a serious book, rather than a fairy tale. Orwell does make the text quite complex and together with the language used in its period of composition (mid 1940’s) makes this a very effective style. Lines such as: “Is it not crystal clear, then comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings?”

This is an extremely profound theme for the animals, and the reader is always reminded of their hatred for humans. This is contrasted in Lord of the Flies by the fact that it is about children, and is no way affected by the thoughts and tears of Golding. His novel about a group of stranded children uses all of the slang and bad English that the children of the time would have used. This may be explained by the fact that Golding was a prep school teacher before writing the book. The narrative shows his clear experience of children and knowledge of their behaviour. The children, although almost instantly they have to grow up vastly in order to survive, use very flowing but forceful language. Proof of this is in lines such as, “There aren’t any grown-ups. We shall have to look after ourselves.” This shows how the language that Golding used is very different. This is also because, not only are the themes very different, but also, Lord of the Flies is a book for all ages, but a book that will be taken seriously by anybody without any effort. This is very different from Animal Farm, which is a very serious novel disguised as a children’s book, therefore in order for it to be taken seriously, Orwell had to use some very serious language, and very complex ideology as well.

Both novels are set in place that allows the characters and the stories to blossom. Manor Farm is fairly big and has all of the area that the animals need to exploit to accommodate their eventual planning of revenge and anarchy to be forced upon all the humans. The animal’s hatred of humans leads to all sorts of plots. All of these plots are aided by the availability of materials and constant food supply to the supply of things such as barn for the animals to store their food and hold their meetings as and when they are called together. This is almost the complete opposite to the settings and surroundings on the island in Lord of the Flies. They are in unfamiliar territory, they have to come to terms with the fact that they have to wash in a lagoon, catch, pick or kill their own food and protect themselves all in surroundings that they are not only unused to, but unsafe in. Because of the nature of their predicament, this made the lost boys even more dangerous to themselves. Once all the boys had adapted to their new surroundings, they had been severely mentally and physically hardened. They had all been forced to grow up, and fast.

In conclusion, I have drawn that the two books have great similarities but also great differences. Animal farm is a typical representation of human behaviour. But Orwell describes it as a fairy tale by using characters that are animals. Lord of the Flies however, uses the behaviour of young boys to show the possible terror and violence in which humans are capable of inflicting. In short both books depict similar theories that humans are naturally deceitful and selfish people that cannot contain their primitive impulses.

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