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Lord of the Flies Vs. the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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Essay title: Lord of the Flies Vs. the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Throughout history theme has always been the crucial element to writing a successful novel. Today it seems if an author fails to portray his or her theme adequately the point of which the author is trying to convey will be ignored. During their careers, William Golding and Fredrick Douglass have used writing as a tool to communicate penetrating messages and ominous warnings about our society. Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies and Douglass’ novel The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass both represent the loss of innocence a person may endure while undergoing a horrific situation. On the surface, these two novels are dramatically different; a huge factor being one is fiction while the other is non-fiction. However, a closer assessment of both pieces reveals that both contain common themes and ideas. Examining and comparing the two novels and their presentation of a similar theme provides a unique insight into both the novels and their authors.

One of the most prevalent themes in Douglass’ work is loss of innocence. He makes it extremely clear in the early pages of his novel that slavery robbed him of his innocence. In the opening of the novel Douglass makes it clear to the reader that he is not sure of which the exact year he was born, because shortly after birth slaves are torn from their mothers, and given a blank life at a new location. Douglass was never allowed the nurturing and playfulness that most children receive in their early stages of life. “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of [my mother’s] death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger” (Douglass). The separation from his mother that Douglass describes was done purposely ensure that Douglass did not develop familial feelings toward his mother. He shows the reader through vivid imagery of his experiences, how his innocence was stripped from him due to the cruelty of his several different masters. Douglass devotes large parts of his Narrative to explanations of how slaves are not born but rather made, and molded by their masters. He explains that slaves never get the chance to grow up on their on will, and become who they want to be, but they are rather a reflection of who their master wants them to be. If their master teaches them from the time of birth to be timid and to never question his authority that is who they will be. His whole narrative is seemingly based upon that theory, and his battle to finally rid himself of who he was sculpted to be, and become his own person. Similarly in Lord of the Flies, Golding uses the changes in the personalities of a group of boys marooned on an Island to portray his views on how fragile innocence really is. Golding does a tremendous job at easing in to the transition of the boys personalities throughout the chapters of the novel. While reading the novel the audience sees the boys naturally lose the innocence that they once possessed in the early chapters of the novel. We see the children go from well behaved, proper young men to bloodthirsty, seemingly damned savages. The painted savages in Chapter three who have hunted, tortured, and killed

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"Lord of the Flies Vs. the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." EssaysForStudent.com. 11, 2009. Accessed 11, 2009. https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Lord-of-the-Flies-Vs-the-Narrative-of/5911.html.