What are some thematic similarities between Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird?

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You can draw a number of thematic parallels betweenLord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird, including children's need for wise adult guidance in overcoming irrational fears, effective versus ineffective leadership, and the importance of compassion in creating a society that works for all its members.

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You can draw a number of thematic parallels between Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird, including children's need for wise adult guidance in overcoming irrational fears, effective versus ineffective leadership, and the importance of compassion in creating a society that works for all its members.

In both novels, the children exhibit irrational fears, which readers recognize as normal for youngsters. Scout and Jem fear Boo Radley, and the littluns—and eventually almost all the boys—fear the "beast" on the island. The Finch children have Atticus's guidance to help them learn not to fear that which they don't know or understand, and by the end of the story, Scout exhibits tender solicitude for the man she once groundlessly feared. Without any adult guidance, however, the boys on the island become more and more fearful, and their fears contribute to the murders of Simon and Piggy.

Both novels offer noteworthy examples of leadership, both positive and negative. Atticus Finch raises his children to think for themselves. He listens to their questions and answers them honestly. He assigns responsibilities to them, such as requiring Jem to read for Mrs. Dubose. His parallel in Lord of the Flies is Ralph, who gives the littluns a chance to voice their fears during meetings and, in his role as chief, assigns duties to the biguns. However, as a child himself, Ralph doesn't have the wisdom or experience to lead with consistency. At times, he falls into cruel and selfish behavior, which diminishes his effectiveness as a leader. On the negative side, To Kill a Mockingbird has Bob Ewell. He rules his family, particularly Mayella, through violence, intimidation, and cruelty. His parallel in Golding's novel is Jack, who punishes Wilfred for no reason, tries to silence the littluns during the meetings, and breaks and then steals Piggy's glasses. Though effective in terms of getting what they want, the leadership style Bob Ewell and Jack use results in negative consequences for their followers and eventually for themselves.

Finally, both novels show that a desirable society is based on compassion and selflessness. To the extent that the island society functions, it works because some of the older boys set aside their own desires to care for those who are more vulnerable. Ralph and Simon construct shelters, Simon climbs trees and passes fruit down to the children who can't reach it, and Piggy stays behind and babysits littluns. But when members stop thinking about others and think only of their own desires, the society falls apart. In Maycomb, Atticus and Alexandra attempt to instill good morals into Scout and Jem. Alexandra teaches them to restrain their baser instincts, and Atticus teaches the importance of walking around in another person's shoes. Atticus provides legal representation to a man who is vulnerable—despite the cost to his reputation and personal safety. Boo Radley defends the children from assault, and Scout returns his compassion at the end.

These three themes about irrational childhood fears, leadership, and the importance of compassion in a desirable society are common to both Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird.

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Both novels explore the concepts of morality and civilty while simultaneously examining the nature of childhood innocence. In the Lord of the Flies, Golding depicts what happens when a group of civilized boys crash land on an uninhabited tropical island. Initially, the boys attempt to establish a civil, democratic society but gradually descend into savagery as the novel progresses. Golding portrays Ralph's struggle to create an organized community while the other boys succumb to their primitive desires. Jack is the epitome of savagery and completely rejects civilization. Unfortunately, the majority of the boys become loyal followers of Jack and enjoy acting like savages.

Similarly, Harper Lee also explores the concepts of civility and morality. Atticus struggles to defend Tom Robinson against a prejudiced jury that wrongly convicts Tom of assaulting and raping Mayella Ewell. Both Jem and Scout learn the importance of treating all people equally and with civility as a part of their moral education.

Both novels also examine the concept of childhood innocence. Throughout both novels, young children face difficult, life-altering situations and mature as a result of their traumatic experiences. The boys in Lord of the Flies, specifically Ralph, mature and realize that humans are inherently savage. Both Jem and Scout also gain insight into their prejudiced community and learn the importance of protecting innocent beings.

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Great question to think about! These are of course two excellent texts, and so you should have a lot to write about in comparing the themes between them. Here are my ideas, but I have also included the links two the themes section on both texts below, so you can investigate further.

I think one of the biggest themes that you can link to both texts is the way in which there is a definite movement in both stories from innocence to experience, which is normally associated with recognising and understanding the evil in humanity, and in the case of Ralph and the other boys stranded on the island, the evil that is innate in themselves too. Consider the way that at the beginning of the story, both sets of children are rather innocent. Jem and Scout, however, come to learn about the evil nature of discrimination and racism through the events that transpire, and this is something that they experience first hand when they are attacked. The boys too end up crying because they have experienced how innately evil humans are, and how, when free from the restraining influence of civlisation, mankind sinks back to its savage state just as sure as a stone sinks fast in water.

This would be the central comparison that you could talk about, but you also might like to consider the theme of appearances vs. reality in both texts. This of course can be linked to the theme of the move from innocence to experience, as the children in both texts begin to understand that the appearance of things is often a lot more complex than they first perceive.

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