The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies Comparative Essay

Subject: Literature
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 916
Topics: Book, Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games
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The comparison of the two novels provides the chance to understand how different authors reflect similar ideas existing in society. The Hunger Games is Suzanne Collins’ novel about a dystopian world where the political elite uses its power to make the poor struggle in the hunger games. The purpose of this game is to make the representatives from different districts confront each other so that only one of them can stay alive. Lord of the Flies is William Golding’s novel about a group of boys that find themselves on an uninhabited island after an airplane crash that forms alliances to survive. The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies are similar in the depiction of survival games, creating an atmosphere of foreboding chaos, referring to the eternal conflict between chaos and moral stability and the use of art as the implicit form of unity.

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Plot and Style Similarities

The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies share such specific features of the plot as the presentation of the particular patterns of human behavior in the conditions of survival. Such elements of the first story can demonstrate the plot’s peculiarity as the form of the game, in which only one person can stay alive, and the existence of rules that make the game cruel. The evidence of this plot’s peculiarity could be the unusual setting, the deserted island, where the characters have to find their means for survival and ways to coordinate their actions. For example, Collins (2008) describes the hunger games as a challenge, where the characters have to find ways to maintain their identities because of the brutal rules. Golding (2011), in his turn, makes the characters form groups, which reflect what tactics different characters choose to survive. These examples reveal how the context and the environment influence the demonstration of different peculiarities of human behavior. Consequently, the common plot features demonstrate the authors’ intentions to focus on human behavior.

The style of the two books is also similar because it contains descriptive imagery combined with vivid action parts, which makes the readers forebode chaos and tragedies. The evidence of such resemblance can be the parts where the authors switch from the descriptions of vivid scenes displaying the characters’ violent behavior to the serene descriptions of nature. For example, Collins (2008) uses such descriptions as “deep in the meadow, hidden far away, a cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray” (370). Then, the author connects the descriptive imagery with the actions of “the blade whistling” and the teenagers attempting to escape (Collins, 239). This example of serenity, compared to the example of the brutality of the games, makes this style of narration similar to Golding’s style, which reflects how the quietness of nature contrasts with the cruelty of human actions. Such combinations allow the authors to create an atmosphere of unpredictability.

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Historical and Art Context Similarities

The two stories have similar features regarding the historical context. It can be proved by the plot specifics of the two stories when different groups have to struggle to survive, and their rivalry can be viewed as a metaphor for conflicts occurring at different times in history. For example, Lord of the Flies refers to the Second World War, which becomes the background context of the novel. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, reminds readers of the epoch of the Roman Empire, when Gladiator’s battles were used as entertainment and set in apocalyptic times in North America. The common historical context is the allusion to the conflict between the moral values that give hope for survival and the chaotic unpredictability of human behavior, which threatens to immerse the world in turmoil (Amer, 2019). This reference to the struggle between chaos and moral stability reveals that the two stories have a common historical context. This context concerns constant conflicts happening throughout history.

The two stories share the art context of primitive cultures where relationships with nature, amulets, and rituals of worshiping the deities play a significant role in unifying humans into groups. The evidence of the significant role of art in the stories could be the fact that the costumes, symbols of flowers in The Hunger Games and face paintings, and pig’s head rituals in Lord of the Flies influence the sense of community between the characters. For instance, such forms of art as flower garlands, costumes, and songs mimicking mockingbirds in The Hunger Games help to reflect how the characters use art to form alliances against the severe conditions they have to experience (Weida, 2017). Similarly, dancing rituals and face painting in the second novel become the symbol of unification and community, helping the characters survive together. These examples display that art’s implicit meaning makes people unite on a deeper level than the explicit measures of the imposed rules. Consequently, these stories have a similar feature, demonstrating the implicit meaning of art in the development of civilizations.

Conclusion

Thus, The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies share some common features, which signifies that the theme of unification can be traced not only within the stories but also between different writers who use art to depict universal tendencies. Mainly, Golding and Collins use the themes of survival to display how people unite. In addition, they describe the conflict between stability and chaos, which makes people find ways to allow changes and to stay consolidated simultaneously. Finally, they use the art context as the implicit form of unity. Consequently, although these are two different stories, they reflect the same ideas of the coexistence of rivalry and unity.

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  1. Amer, E. S. (2019). A new logic of victory in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games with reference to elements of intertextuality in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Journal of the College of Education for Women30(3), 20-36. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.20222.95040
  2. Collins, S. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press.
  3. Golding, W. (2011). Lord of the Flies. Faber & Faber.
  4. Weida, C. L. (2017). Mutts, music, and memory books: Rebellious remixes of the Hunger Games in art education contexts. Ruth S. Ammon School of Education.
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