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Literary Comparison of Ballantyne’s Coral Island and Golding’s Lord of The Flies Island


Literary Comparison of Ballantyne’s Coral Island and Golding’s Lord of The Flies Island

This is to compare R.M. Ballantyne’s Coral Island with William Golding’s Lord of The Flies Island. Both books locate their characters separated in an island removed from society and without any adult guidance, thus leaving them to fend for themselves. Without the rules and order of society and civilization, the kids return to their state of nature– however, Ballantyne and Golding have differing views on what that is. Ballantyne’s boys retain their values and act accordingly to the rules of society, whereas Golding’s young boys battle with their savage primal instinct and the tendency to be primitive and evil. In the end though, Ballantyne and Golding both explore the issue of wicked and how their characters struggle with it.


Lord of the Flies and Coral Island portray how Man will act according to his impulses when he is separated from society and in doing so show how their characters mature as they face the issue of evil.

FIRST POINT: In both books, the kids are stranded in an isolated island and are left to take care of themselves without adult supervision.

Coral Island: Ralph, aged 15, Jack, aged 18, and Peterkin, aged 14, find themselves shipwrecked in a deserted island in the Pacific. They construct shelters, make fire, gather fruits, construct boats and explore the island and neighboring islands as well.

Lord of the Flies: After an aircraft crash, Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Roger, Simon, twins Sam and Eric, and a group of boys of varying ages with the youngest ones as young as six or 7, are stranded in the island. The oldest in the group are Ralph and Jack, both twelve years old. They choose Ralph as leader, and set guidelines on building shelters and fire, and hunting for food.

  • Both sets of kids are stranded in an island left to take care of themselves
  • In Coral Island, the 3 boys are friends, and have reached their adolescence as compared to the boys in Lord of the Flies, who can still be thought about as children. The boys in Lord of the Flies are not necessarily pals but they went to the same school– they were thrown together in a scenario and are required to live together.

2ND POINT: Both novels explore the problem of evil through the adventures of the kids.

Coral Island: Readers follow the adventures of the boys, of their encounter with a shark, of their exploration of the island and Diamond Cave, their conference with natives, Ralph’s journey with the pirates and his gallant rescue of the locals, Ralph’s reunion with his buddies, and finally, their escape from death from the locals who have actually been converted to Christianity.

Lord of the Flies: Readers follow the occasions in the island as brought about by the character’s actions and mindsets. The fire that swept half the forest was due to the fact that of the kid’s irresponsibility, as was the fire’s burning out and hence missing out on to send out a signal to a passing ship. Even more, their character flaws promote the occasions in the island– Jack’s aggressive and belligerent behavior translated into a confident control of power and command over the weaker ones, and the worry and confusion in many of the boys made them prone into engaging into savage and primitive actions, releasing reason and immersing in their primal instincts. Further, readers see that even the lead characters struggle with their concepts, as Ralph and Piggy participate the ritual dance and even assist eliminate Simon.

  • Both sets of characters face the issue of evil. The kids in Coral Island face problem of evil from external forces– pirates, natives, the wild, and they deal with and fight against it when they come across it. Whereas in Lord of The Flies Island, the kids’ greatest opponent is themselves– the inherent evil that resides in them, the prospective to be primitive and savage and to let go of factor, the worry and violence in them, that is the greatest fight that they face. The issue of evil is intrinsic– the kids struggle with the worths that society taught them versus their instincts now that they discovered themselves in the wild without any guidance whatsoever.
  • Therefore, the isolation in the novels forces the characters to grow. In Coral Island, the boys existed to act accordingly, keeping their values intact and even able to Christianize locals. Thus, it reveals that even without the controls enforced by society, Guy in the state of nature will utilize his factor over his desires, and maintain order. On the other hand, in Lord of the Flies, the kids existed enjoying their standard requirements of pacifying their desires over satisfying their responsibilities to ensure their being conserved. The boys struggle with behaving as adults versus acting like children, in between utilizing their reason and pleasing their thirst for searching, between their morality and their routines and tendency to be wicked. In both books, the characters needed to act beyond their years and had to handle their remarkable circumstance.

THIRD POINT: Both books end with going back to civilization, the 3 kids in Coral Island cruise back to England while the kids in Lord of the Flies were discovered by a Naval officer who saw the fire set by Jack’s tribe. The end of both books indicates the maturing of the characters, as they enter into awareness of what has actually taken place to them.

Coral Island: After all their experiences, the three young boys return home wiser and more fully grown since of the experiences that they have had.

Lord of the Flies: The Naval officer believed that the boys were all enjoyable and games at the island, but was shocked to discover that 2 kids have been killed. In a sense, these boys are no longer kids– they have actually seen and participated in such violent acts, and have experienced their dark, evil sides. Upon seeing the Naval officer and asked what happened, the young boys break down and cry, understanding what had actually ended up being of them. Jack’s people have become blood-thirsty and completely savage, Piggy and Simon murdered, and Ralph lowered to a metaphorical pig, a victim running for his life from his previous companions. Since of their experiences in the island, the boys developed and have grown wiser, knowing full well now what man can.

  • Both sets of kids come out of their particular islands different and with a much better understanding of themselves, although in Coral Island the kids were not tainted with evil, while in Lord of The Flies Island the young boys pertain to a realization of how ruthless and inhuman they have actually behaved.
  • Coral Island concerns an end with the kids’ going back to England, with all their little experiences dealt with. Lord of the Flies ends with the young boys’ crying and awareness, and the battle between Ralph and Jack appeared to be over with the arrival of the officer and being saved.


Lord of The Flies Island and Coral Island portray two ways Man will act according to his impulses when he is separated from society– Ballantyne reveals that Male will uphold the values civilization taught him while Golding puts forward that Guy will descend to savagery.
By isolating the characters from society, Ballantyne and Golding effectively removed the boys from the controlling standards and requirements that society imposes to shape the actions and behavior of males.

Ballantyne pursues his story concentrating on the occasions that occur to the characters and how they manage these challenges, in the process showing that guy is excellent which he has the capability to fight off wicked from external factors. On the other hand, Golding’s story is driven by his characters’ emotions and motivations. The occasions occur in Lord of the Flies as a result of how the characters act. The greatest difficulty they had to deal with was in them: they needed to fight with guy’s tendency to descend to savagery and evil. At the end of each book, the boys are saved from the problem of making it through by themselves and exist with the possibility to go back to society and civilization.

Hence, from both books we garner that isolated from the managing function of society and civilization, Guy will defend his survival, and act accordingly. Nevertheless, Male’s state of nature is arguable, the question of whether Guy is innately excellent or evil is perennial, and at many the 2 books offer perspectives on how Guy might act removed of society and civilization.

For Ballantyne, this suggests that Man will use his inherent goodness and reason, while Golding puts forward that Man will descend to savagery without the pillars of civilization. It appears that Golding’s portrayal of man’s state of nature is more realistic though, considered that he provided younger young boys much less exposed to society and dealt more with internal dispute and the crisis of survival, as compared to the experiences of Ballantyne’s characters. In the end, both showed the attitudes and habits of guys during their time, and revealed through their respective narrative how their characters grew and developed; how their way of thinking changed as they dealt with the challenges of making it through by themselves.

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