|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||English literature American literature Lord of The Flies|
In a man eat man society, man is made to fight and struggle for his survival. In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" written by Richard Connell, this fight between good and evil is the most astounding theme. The two texts are similar in many aspects. They both show out the dark side of human beings. They show that, in an environment where no rules govern the society, man can go to the extent of killing his fellow men without any sense of shame. In the novel Lord of the Flies, a group of boys gets stuck in an island after surviving a plane crash. The boys go to the extreme limits to fight for their survival. On the other hand, in the short story, The Most Dangerous Game, an experienced hunter who is tired of hunting for animals resolves to kill for human beings. When Rainsford, the hunted learns the character of Zaroff, the hunter, he lays a trap for him and instead of getting captured, he ends up chasing the hunter.
The two texts are similar in the way they expound the theme of conflict. In both of the writings, there are internal conflicts between two groups or societies and external conflict between human beings and nature. In the short story "The Most Dangerous Game," a conflict emerges between Rainsford, an experienced hunter and Zaroff, a general and a skilled hunter as well. When Rainsford refuses to accompany Zaroff in his mission of hunting people, he becomes the hunted. He escapes to run away for his life, but when he comes to the sea, he realizes that the sea is equally an enemy to him. In the novel, Lord of the Flies a conflict between these boys who have survived a plane crash and nature is imminent. The boys fight for their survival on an island after the accident, and some are terrified that there is a monster who is hunting them. They resolve to hunt for this monster, but their hunting is upgraded from hunting a monster to hunting one another. The conflict is therefore evident in each setup.
Another similarity is how people graduate from hunting animals to hunting their fellow human beings without the pain of sense of shame. At first, they were all nervous about killing, but after experiencing hunting animals and killing them, they gain the courage to pursue their fellow men and kill them also. After killing small prey, Zaroff gets tired of them and starts an adventure to hunting and killing human beings as his equal. The boys in short story also graduate from killing a pig and offering its head as a sacrifice to the beast and they hunt their own to offer as a sacrifice.
Both stories explore how human beings have a dark side and how they have to choose between good and evil. Human beings are potentially evil, and when situations are right for crime, there is no limit to their cannibalism. Zaroff, being bored by hunting animals, goes after killing animals which can reason like him and in his discussion with Rainsford, he says, "Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give a strong pleasure" (Connell, 2017). Rainsford, who is also an experienced hunter and a fighter, it has to choose as to whether to accompany Zaroff in his "hunt for human" mission, but he responds to Zaroff by telling him that; he is a hunter but not a murder. Zaroff sees Rainsford argument as old school and threatens to hunt him as well. But Rainsford escapes the trap by becoming the hunter himself.
Similarly, in the short story Lord of the Flies, Ralph and his fellow boys are faced with a similar choice to make. Jack has become evil and resolved to be a hunter not just for animals but fellow humans as well. He has no humanity in his hunting. He is seen dancing and thirsting for blood. He is no better than an animal and leads the other boys to destroying the island as well as after going after one another.
There is also a similarity of people hiding behind their friends or tribe to commit atrocities. Jack hides behind his tribe to kill his opponents while Zaroff hides behind his friend Ivan to kill other humans. They both use their close people as only a shield over their evil hearts.
Another similarity is in the settings. The novel Lord of the Flies is set on an island in which the boys are faced with a struggle for survival. They have to sacrifice for their durability and being on an island, no laws are regulating them and can thus go to the highest extremes "we can all have a good time on this island" (Golding, 1997). They, therefore, go out hunting, an adventure that leads them to hunt their humans. The novel "The Most Dangerous Game" is also set on the island. It allows Zaroff and Rainsford to go beyond the boundaries of civilization as they are away from civilization, "off the right somewhere is a large island" (Connell, 2017). Though both of them are trained in war and civilized, the setting allows them to show their hidden character in which Zaroff is demonstrated as being uncivilized. He breaks all the rules of civilization and goes after his fellow human beings to prey them.
A significant difference exists between the two writings. While the characters in "The Most Dangerous Game" are hunting and killing a human for pleasure, characters in the novel Lord of the Flies are killing for survival. Zaroff is a civilized and experienced hunter but gets bored with hunting animals and looks for a more challenging task which leads him to pursue his fellow men. On the other hand, the boys in the Lord of the Flies are uncivilized, held in an island and resolves to hunt though inexperienced, for their survival. They even decide to kill their enemies again for survival.
Golding, W. (1987). Lord of the Flies. Penguin.
Connell, R. (2017). The Most Dangerous Game. In Stories for Men (pp. 88-107). Routledge.
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