Explain the significance of the novel Coral Island in regards to Lord of the Flies. 

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The novel Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne is a story about several British children shipwrecked on a South Pacific island. The boys engage in plenty of fun adventures and act like respectable little gentlemen who thoroughly enjoy their experience. Jack is the courageous, morally upright leader in Ballantyne's novel...

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The novel Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne is a story about several British children shipwrecked on a South Pacific island. The boys engage in plenty of fun adventures and act like respectable little gentlemen who thoroughly enjoy their experience. Jack is the courageous, morally upright leader in Ballantyne's novel who leads Ralph and Peterkin on various expeditions. William Golding uses a similar plot, and even shares the names of the characters, Ralph and Jack, in his novel Lord of the Flies. However, there is stark contrast regarding the personalities of the characters in Golding's novel. Golding wanted to analyze and explore man's inherent wickedness and used the character of Jack to lead the boys into utter savagery. Golding references the novel Coral Island several times throughout the story.

In Chapter 2, during the boys' first assembly meeting, Ralph mentions that they are on a good island and plans on having fun times like in the books they read. One of the boys yells, "Coral Island---" (Golding 35). As the novel progresses, Jack's tyrannical leadership drives the boys deeper into barbarism, to the point that they kill Simon, Piggy, and attempt to murder Ralph. In the last chapter, Ralph narrowly escapes the band of savages and runs onto the beach where he encounters a British Naval officer. As the savages run onto the beach, the officer comments, "Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island" (Golding 202). William Golding used the plot and characters of the novel Coral Island to give a realistic interpretation of how man's inherent wickedness, void of society's regulations, will result in violence and destruction. In doing so, he satirizes Ballantyne's novel. 

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