, Research Paper
The openings of the Time Machine and Lord of the Flies seem like a description of paradise. In what ways does this turn out to be deceptive?
The Time Machine is about the possibility of time travelling. In the story, one man succeeds in building a fully working time machine, and he uses it to travel into the future. The story was written during the Victorian times (1895), by H.G. Wells.
Lord of the Flies involves a group of boys who crash land on an island, in the middle of nowhere. It begins as paradise, but as the story goes on it turns out differently to what they expected. William Golding wrote the story, during the Cold War era. It was written after the Second World War. The times, in which wells and Golding lived in, reflected on what was written in each of their stories.
Wells lived in a time of peace and stability, as there hadn t been a major war for 30 years, which was in 1865. This had an impact on what Wells wrote about in his story. There was an influence on who and what the characters were in the story, and how they lived and did things. The Morlocks are very similar to the miners of the Victorian times. The Morlocks lived underground and in the dark. The miners didn t live underground, but they did spend most of their time working there. I would have thought that the Morlocks would be like slaves to the Eloi, because that s what the miners were like to the upper class people. However, this wasn t so, the Morlocks were in complete control of the Eloi, who were just food for them. The Morlocks were the more intellectual out of the two species, and had power over the Eloi. The Morlocks worked underground and were clever enough to work the complicated machinery. The Morlocks were a lot stronger than the Eloi, which gave them more authority over the Eloi. Wells wrote the Time Machine in a similar time to what we are living in at the moment. We are both very near to the turn of a new century, which involves new beginnings and new achievements in life. Wells wrote his story just before the turn of the 20th Century, in 1895. And we are about to go into the 21st Century. In 1985 they weren t even thinking about the things which we have achieved today. Back then, disease affected many people, but treatments for all these diseases were beginning to be created. Some of these common diseases were beginning to be wiped out, but nowadays, in the 1990 s, nearly every disease and illness has got a cure. Wells though that every disease will be wiped out in the future, and this is shown in his writing. In the story all weeds have been eliminated, and only beautiful flowers and exotic fruit trees exist, a long-neglected and yet weedless garden .
Golding wrote Lord of the Flies in 1954. This was during the Cold War era, and after the Second World War. The Cold War brought fear to everybody, as they thought that the world was going to be destroyed. The Cold War was between America and Russia, and everybody thought that the world was going to be annihilated by nuclear weapons. This influenced Golding to include something about a war in his story. First of all, the time at which they crash land, a war is going on. Also, the thing they thought was a beast, on top of the mountain, actually turned out to be a pilot. His plane must have been shot at, and he was forced to eject. But by the time he parachuted down, he was already dead. Wells himself was involved in warfare, as he took part in World War II. His war experiences changed his views about the nature of mankind. Because of the atrocities Wells witnessed, he believed that there was a very dark and evil side to man. These thoughts were shown in his writing. On the island were the boy s crash landed, Piggy described one side of the mountain dark and unfriendly. Looking down the unfriendly side of the mountain . There was also an influence on the characters in the story. Jack and Roger represented the dark and evil side to man. In comparison to them, Ralph and Piggy were more civilised, and were not savages. Jack and Roger also represent Hitler, who was obsessed with dictatorship and power. The fascism in the Second World War, brought out the worst in people. The Nazis influenced Golding to create some characters in the story who portrayed this dark and evil side to man. These characters were Jack and Roger. Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Jack and Roger also represent Hitler, who was an evil man obsessed with dictatorship and power.
In both stories the opening descriptions are made to sound like paradise by the writers. This is the description of the island (Golding), and the land of the Eloi (H.G. Wells). Both writers use good descriptions to convey this idea of paradise.
In the Time Machine the land of the Eloi is described as calm and peaceful, and like a summers day. The intense blue of the summer day , everything was calm and peaceful . It is a perfect world to live in, The air was free from gnats, the earth from weeds or fungi; everywhere were fruits and sweet delightful flowers . The place where the Time Traveller first encounters the Eloi, the whole location is full of beautiful and exotic fruits. There seems to be an unlimited supply of fruit, showing that the place is like paradise, and they will never go hungry, the fruits were very delightful, and seemed to be in season all the time I was there .
The island in Lord of the Flies is described as a tropical island. The sky is blue, the water is blue, and the sun is shining bright. There also seems to be an endless supply of exotic fruit on the island. There are many descriptions of how the island is like paradise in the story. Looking at the dazzling beach and the water , The white surf flinked on a coral reef , shimmering water , young palm trees . Golding describes everything so concretely and vividly that you are convinced of the reality of the experience.
There are warning signs, even at the beginning, that everything will not be like paradise. In the Time Machine the White Sphinx was described as greatly weather-worn , and this lead to an unpleasant suggestion of disease. The Time Traveller feared that cruelty had grown into a common passion, and that he was going to get beaten up by the Eloi. The weather is beautiful when the Time Traveller first arrives in the land of the Eloi, but then it changes. The sky goes grey, mist covers the area, and then it hails exceptionally hard. The gloomy weather illustrates that the exploration will be difficult. The Time Traveller describes the experience of time travelling like the flapping of a bats wing . This is an unpleasant description, and gives us a clue that the time in which he arrives in will not be like paradise.
There are also warning signs in Lord of the Flies. There is a dark side to the island, Looking down the unfriendly side of the mountain . Jack begins to disagree with Ralph; he also takes the mickey out of Ralph. Also, Ralph is basically on his own (apart from Piggy), whereas Jack already has a gang of his own (his choirboys). There are some decaying coconuts amongst the other exotic fruits on the island. The war paint that Jack and his gang wears represent the savagery within them and that they will do something evil in the future. For hunting. Like in the war. You know-dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else .
In the Time Machine, the descriptions become more threatening in the story. The Time Traveller finds out that there are more, different people to the Eloi. A pair of eyes, luminous by reflection against the daylight without, was watching me out of the darkness , this was when the Time Traveller first spots a Morlock. The Morlocks are also described as human rats .
In Lord of the Flies, the descriptions of the island also become more threatening in the story. Piggy glanced nervously into hell ; this is a strong quote that suggests the island is unfriendly and evil. When the fire breaks out Golding describes it very well and vividly. A quarter of a mile square of forest was savage with smoke and flame . Beneath the dark canopy of leaves and smoke the fire laid hold on the forest and began to gnaw .
The action also becomes more threatening in both stories. In the Time Machine the Time Traveller actually comes face to face with some of the Morlocks. While I stood in the dark a hand touched mine, lank fingers came feeling over my face. The Time Traveller also ends up fighting with the Morlocks, when he goes underground to look for his time machine. With a mace in my hand more sufficient, I judged, for any Morlock skull I might encounter.
In Lord of the Flies two sides begin to form amongst the boys. These are Jack and his gang, and Ralph and Piggy, and a power struggle between Ralph and Jack begins. A huge fire breaks out on the island, destroying a lot of the trees on the island. The flames, as though they were a kind of wild-life, crept as a Jaguar creeps on its belly towards a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock . The other boys accidentally kill Simon, as he is mistaken for the beast. Although Ralph didn t want to become a savage, like Jack and his gang, he felt that there is an evil side to every person, and he finds out that he enjoys inflicting pain. As well as Simon getting killed, Piggy also dies. However, the death of Simon was accidental, but Piggy was murdered. The boys find a beast on the island, which brings fear to them all.
As everything becomes more threatening, the characters in both stories respond to this in a variety of ways. There are similarities between the characters in each story. The Morlocks are like Jack s gang, because they both dominate over the other species/group. They are also the hunters in each story, and base everything on survival. The Morlocks and Jacks Gang Ralph and Piggy are like the Eloi, who are not savages, unlike the Morlocks and Jacks gang. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph faces the danger, which is the beast. He is the first to go up the mountain to confront the beast. The Time Traveller also faces his danger, which are the Morlocks. He goes underground to try and find his time machine, and whilst doing that he encounters many Morlocks. In Lord of the Flies the beast comes from within the boys, and so does the threat to the island.
In Lord of the Flies it all began as paradise, but there was a big chase towards the end of the story, which involved Jack s gang chasing Ralph with spears and fire. Also, most of the palm trees and fruit were set alight and destroyed by the huge fire, and it s not like paradise anymore.
In the Time Machine, the Time Traveller keeps saying, My original expectations of the future are incorrect . As the story goes on, the Time Traveller begins to realise that the land of the Eloi is not like paradise, and not what he expected it to be like. He discovers that the Eloi are not the only species, and that the Eloi are only bred for meat by the Morlocks. The Time Traveller describes the Eloi as being treated like cattle .
I think H.G. Wells is saying that society is de-generating, and way into the future we will turn out just like the Eloi. He thinks that we will be small, frail, indolent, and unintelligent creatures, a bit like children of our own times. Golding thinks that there is a savage side to everybody and the need for survival is strong. He thinks that we all need a bit of both, that is savagery and civilisation. Golding thinks that necessity (survival) makes the people savages.