I have chosen “The Lord of the Flies” and “The Withered Arm” because they are similar even though they were written in different time periods. Lord of the Flies was written in the 20th century and the Withered arm was written in the 19th century.
Lord of the flies by William Golding
The title signifies Death, devil (Beelzebub).
The Withered arm by Thomas Hardy
The title signifies decay or decline.
The withered arm is set in the 19th century on a farm. This is in Anglebury .The story starts of on Mr Lodges farm and finishes on the farm. Gertrude lodge lives in a mud built cottage.
The lord of the flies is set on a fictitious remote island in the 20th century. The story starts of in the jungle. They later move onto the beaches. They then move to other locations on the island such as the fort and the mountain.
Differences and similarities between settings
Both of the settings are isolated. Lord of the Flies, is on an island so they cant get off but in the Withered Arm there is not much transport so wherever you went you would have to walk or get a horse.
The settings are different because they are set in different periods.
Lord of the flies:
Good and evil, good and evil is a fairly large theme in the story. Early in the novel good is represented by the conch this is a symbol of decency and order. The two tribes Represent good and evil in the best way. However, there are other things such as the beast and the ship. The beast frightens them because they think it is an evil sign. The ship is a good sign but they do not manage to flag it down, because Jack had not looked after the fire. This springs an almost air of hatred between Ralph and Jack.
Law and order, plays a big role in the story. It comes into play at the very beginning with the conch. Ralph and Piggy find the shell and Ralph blows it, this draws all the children onto the beech. The conch later becomes an element of law and order, because the boys are only aloud to talk during meetings if they have the conch.
Fear, fear is probably the biggest theme in the story there is a big list of elements of fear such as the fear of the beast, the isolation of the island, the war outside of the island, the fear of not being rescued, the fear of Jacks group (savages) and the fear of fear itself.
The Withered arm:
The withered arm shares the same themes of the lord of the flies Good and evil, this is symbolised when Gertrude lodge turns up to Rhoda brook and says about her bad arm. This is in conjunction to when Rhoda has a dream about Gertrude and her having a bad arm.
Order, order plays an important part in The Withered Arm, there is order between the social classes. Farmer lodge will not acknowledge anyone he sees on the road or any place else. He shows this when the boy is walking past the carriage of Farmer Lodge.
Lord of the Flies:
Ralph, he is portrayed as a typical British boy, he has led a life that illustrates a perfect British boyhood. Ralph’s father is a commander in the Royal Navy. This may endorse his image of law and order when he is voted leader. Ralph demonstrates a quiet authority which the boys appreciate and favour compared to jacks more harsh and aggressive approach.
He is practical, strong-minded, athletic, kind and a middle-class boy.
Piggy, his unattractive appearance and remoteness from the group prevent him from making an involvement to life on the island. He is the most intelligent boy on the island. He moans a lot and is put to manual labour by the other boy’s.
He is Intelligent, asthmatic, overweight and his father is dead.
Jack Merridew, Jack is the character in the story that you are supposed to despise. He bases his stand on him being leader by, “I can sing C sharp”. His key involvement to the survival of the boys is the fact that he leads the savages (hunters) They provide the meat by tracking the pigs. The whole experience of the island to Jack, is one big game. He is leader of the choir, red hair, aggressive and dominant, arrogant, envious, chief of savages.
Simon, he is described on several occasions as ‘funny’, ’queer’, ‘batty’ and ‘crackers’ He is courageous because he climbed the mountain to face the beast. He has a different insight to all the going on’s around the island. Simon is the only boy who tries to explain the notion of evil.
He is courageous, shy, kind, thoughtful, sensitive, strange, intelligent and observant.
Sam and Eric, these are twins that are known as one person ‘Sam n Eric’. Like many twins, they have their own private language and finish each others sentences. Sam also brings up another theme of, good and evil he says “I got mixed up with myself” meaning he had good and evil fighting inside him. They act as one person
The boy with the birth mark, throughout the novel, the minor characters remain unknown, but this minor character is purposely given a physical characteristic, which makes him memorable. Consequently, when he is missing after the fire it is obvious that he has disappeared and the boys are made strongly aware of the consequences of their actions.
He has a deliberate physical feature so he can be remembered.
The parachutist, having asked for a sign from the outside world, the dead airman is what they get. They see him as a representation of death, decay and decline. He is the boys worst fear in the form of “the beast”.
The Withered arm:
Rhoda Brooke, she lives in a cottage with mud walls, she is working class. She works on Mr Lodges farm as a milkmaid. Rhoda has a son whose name is not given in the story. Rhoda is very quiet and keeps herself to herself. She had a love affair with Mr Lodge but it is over and, no one knows.
Gertrude lodge, Gertrude is Mr Lodges new lady, she is very pretty “Her face too fresh in colour, but it was of totally different quality – soft and evanescent, like the light under a heap of rose petals” She is young “her hair is lightish, and her face as comely as a live doll’s.
Farmer Lodge, Farmer Lodge is the farther of Rhoda’s son. He owns the farm that Rhoda works on
Boy is the son of Rhoda he loves his mum and would do anything for her. Rhoda sends her son out to spy on Farmer Lodges new lady (Gertrude).