Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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How is the movie Lord Of The Flies different from the book, especially the common differences? What are the parts of the movie that are done well and the parts that are done badly? Overall, please describe the movie as compared to the book.

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Pauline Sheehan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding was first adapted into a movie in 1963 and again in 1990. The movie was moderately successful but has not enjoyed the same classic status as the novel. The first notable difference between the book and the 1990 movie is that in the novel the boys are English schoolboys whereas in the movie they are Americans. Furthermore, Ralph appears to have a broken arm in the movie.   

The novel opens with a vision of the scar "smashed into the jungle" giving a real sense of its destruction against Ralph's features and the beauty that surrounds him. This sets the tone for the book, foreshadowing the hopelessness of the boys despite the best efforts of Ralph, Piggy and Simon. The movie does not place the same emphasis on the unforgiving landscape, but reveals an endlessly beautiful, if not eerie, setting with an adult survivor, the captain, seriously injured and unconscious, and quite a contrast to the book's island with absolutely no "grown ups."

In the novel, the boys...

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mkcapen1 | Student

The movie The Lord of the Flies and the book The Lord of the Flies have some differences but mostly the movies stay true to the book.  Two movie versions have been produced from Golding's book. 

One movie came out in 1963 and another version was released in 1990.  In the movies the primary three characters are Ralph, Jack, and Piggy.  One difference is that in the book there is more focus on Simon's role as a Christ like figure. 

Jack in the book is a hunter and calls his group the hunters.  In one movie there is a difference because he refers to his group as the tribe and himself as the leader of the tribe

In the book the only survivors are the boys but in one movie there is the difference that a pilot survives and remains in a state of uselessness due to high fevers and illness. 

The last significant difference is in the era of the event of the boy’s crash.  In the book the situation takes place after some type of cataclysmic event in the unidentified past, presumably World War II, but, in the movie, the situation has occurred in a modern, post world-war era because a boy talks about the show "Alf."