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.
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.