Compare and Contrast Between the Body by Stephen King and Lord of Flies





Compare and Contrast Between the Body by Stephen King and Lord of Flies

Stephen King’s book presents a thrilling yet horrific story that reveals his strengths, especially in character development as a writer with a cautious delineation. The author combines small foibles and idiosyncrasies that display his ability to capture pre-teen dialogues in boys, recreation of childhood, depiction of the Maine landscape, criticisms of people from the rural areas, and uncaring parents. The characters in the book are created to be unique as developed by the author and besides the main character, Gordie, it is obvious that Chris stands out. William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies, on the other hand, explores the savagery underlying all human beings, even the civilized, and the dark part of humanity. The intended purpose of the author was to create and display the tragic parody involved in children’s adventures that illustrates human’s intrinsic evil nature. With a chronological format, the author presents the experiences of a group of young boys from hope to tragedy as they try to survive their unsupervised, isolated, and uncivilized environment, up until when they were rescued. Ralph, as mentioned in the book, presented distinct leadership characteristics among others, which stand out in the novel. Chris from The Body and Ralph in the Lord of the Flies display distinct yet uneven similarities in their characterization that tend to move the stories towards the same direction.

Both characters Ralph and Chris in the novels represent leadership. Ralph is best described as a young boy, in his teens, who with his acquired civilized skills, demonstrates his ability of leading the troop of boys in the jungle. Ralph, unlike other boys, has leadership skills that are unmatched, making the other boys to choose him as their leader and more specifically, the only elected leader in the book (Golding 22). He is focused and aims at achieving the group’s primary need; surviving in the jungle. Despite his fear of the beast lurking in the forest, he still leads alone in investigating its presence in the forest, signifying his leadership capabilities. Similarly, Chris is a determined young boy, who leads the group of rebels. Boys from homes that had poor reputation were often treated with disrespect and the society tended to think of them as becoming the mirror image of their current families. However, Chris did not approve this phenomenon and in due time, together with other boys decided to venture into the woods. Despite the terrible events that took place, Chris assumed the role of a leader that made the group survive on several occasions.

Courage is an important character among leaders, with which both Chris and Ralph display. Ralph is an attractive, decently intelligent, and charismatic boy. He was courageous enough to face the perceived beast that all the other boys had feared. In doing so, he unveils the fact that the beast was just but a superstition (Golding 114). Additionally, amongst all the other boys, Ralph is the only boy who identifies the death of his friend, Simon as murder. With an unvarnished and realistic explanation of his participation in the murder, Ralph still maintains that Simon’s death was not just but an accident but unlawful killing with their full knowledge of their consequences. Conversely, Chris displays his courageous act while leading the group of rebels along the tracks (King14). At one instance, he asks the boys if they were pussies, a term normally used to refer to cowards. The fact that he popped the question without hesitation displays his courageous act.

Intelligence levels between the two boys are similar. With an increased interest about life in the forest, Ralph adapts faster into living in the wild than his counterparts. He is able to notify and select the most appropriate place for their meetings due to his understanding of the potential benefits associated with meetings amongst any form of gathering. He even masters the art of lighting a fire using glasses, an art that facilitates their rescue (Golding 30). Furthermore, he was able to note and overcome the false fears perceived by other boys regarding the presence of a beast in the forest. He learns and understands the need of surviving and together with his relatively high astuteness capabilities; he utilizes Piggy’s intellectualism in overcoming his fears. Similar intelligence ability is displayed by Chris. He comes from a family that can best be referred to as broken or rather unsuccessful. His father is a drunkard and his brothers are involved in several crimes within the region (King 3). As much as people anticipated Chris’s likelihood of becoming like his family members, it did not actualize. Chris was intelligent enough to notice that becoming like his family was not a good decision and opted to acquire education in order to become a better person.

Nonetheless, comparisons between Chris and Ralph display distinct differences in their characterization. As time passed by, Ralph’s character adopted a trend that illustrated a decline and finally, a fall. Stripping down before other people has always been associated with a belief of showing defeat (Golding 158). His initial step of becoming an anarchistic savage was marked when he decided to take off his clothes. Sequentially, when Jack’s side begins to heat, he experiences the eagerness of participating in the activity together with his colleagues. Having ended up as a murder of their friend Simon, Ralph tries to convince himself that they left the area quite early though that was not the case. The earlier brave boy who led his fellow age mates becomes the hunted. His earlier roles in the novel change drastically, a move that alters his life from better to worse. Contrary to Ralph’s fate, Chris becomes a better person in life. His earlier experiences in school made several individuals to relate him with the actions of his family members. There are several instances where he was on the right but people still viewed him as a bad person. His need to prove himself finally surfaces when they emerged from the forest and together with his friend, Gordie, he gets a better education and eventually enrolls in a university (King 44).

Comparisons made between the two characters shows a unique yet creative writing skills adopted by the writers. Characterization between the two books, with more focus on Ralph and Chris show some similarities and differences. Both individuals are leaders and courageous in their deeds. They aim at ensuring their groups survive in the forest. Similarities in their character traits and setting as well as the plot makes the novels appear to head towards the same direction. However, there are distinct differences such as the characters abilities of upholding their values as Ralph falls and becomes unable to lead his troop whereas Chris succeeds and becomes the person he had anticipated. Therefore, the similarities identified in the novels’ characters move the two stories in the same but different directions, displayed by the differences.


Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Spark Publishing, 2014. Print.

King, Stephen. The Body. London: Pearson Education, 1999. Print.




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