The Coral Island in Lord Of the Flies

Question: Write a short note on The Coral Island in Lord Of the Flies.


William Golding (1911-1994) writes his book “Lord of the Flies” as a counterpoint to R.M Ballantyne’s (1825-1894), a Scottish author of juvenile fiction, youth novel The Coral Island (1858). This novel represents Golding’s vision of the reality of boys left to their own devices and is a world away from the events of The Coral Island.

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The similarity between the two novels

There are many similarities between The Coral Island and Lord of the Flies. These two novels have similarities between characters, settings, and objects. For example, the main characters of these two novels are Jack and Ralph. The setting of both is an island where the boys are stranded and forced to fend for themselves. Further, fire plays an important role in both novels. The boys are passing a good time on the island and they all can enjoy their time on the island waiting for rescue. Ralph says

It’s like in a book

At once there was a clamor

Treasure Island

Swallows and Amazons

Coral Island”

Difference between the two novels

There are some differences between the two novels. For example, Jack and Ralph successfully work together to build shelters and canoes in the novel The Coral Island. But Jack and Ralph in Lord of the Flies do not co-operate with each other. In Lord of the Flies, fire is used by Jack symbol of destruction. The fire is used in Coral Island to restore peace.

A realistic point of view

Lord of the Flies and The Coral Island resemble each other in their starting points but Golding’s approach to the human situation is entirely different from that of Ballantyne. The Coral Island show juvenile behavior in idealistic terms which excite our admiration for the days. Golding’s story is more realistic and convincing but Ballantyne’s story is highly fanciful and unrealistic.

Good and Evil

These two stories show that power is great some want it for good and others want it for evil and authority. Through the novel, Golding wants to convey the idea that evil is a powerful instinct in human beings. It needs only a favorable environment to grow and flourish.

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Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” presents a much darker look at human nature. Using the structure of Coral Island and even borrowing its character names, he responds cynically to Ballantyne’s vision of humanity.

S Ridoy Kumar
S Ridoy Kumar
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