A Comparison of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A person’s character can be defined by the objects they owe, as one’s possessions may represent what that person lives for as well as his or her goals in life. Consequently, these objects empower and define his or her sense of self. Possessions are a manifestation of what the owner is capable of and wants to do. This relationship between ownership and sense of self is demonstrated by the nomadic intellectuals of Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury, and by the children of Lord of the Flies, an allegorical novel by William Golding.

Despite the growing norm of owning materialistic possessions, the mission of the book people in Fahrenheit 451 is to preserve the knowledge of literature for future generations. As nomadic people, they bear few possessions, concentrating on what they believe is of utmost necessity: the knowledge found in literature. As the dystopian society crumbles, the book people wish to rebuild humanity through the books of the past.

Rather than holding on to the physical books themselves, each and every one of them bears the knowledge of a different book to be memorized and replicated for future generations. This possession of literature through memorization therefore analogizes not a desire to replicate a world obsessed with materialistic goods but rather that of knowledge and intellectual thought. These book people and their sense of self are defined by their knowledge of literature as well as their mission to preserve such knowledge for future generations. Landing on an unknown island, the children in Lord of the Flies are deteriorated of the possessions of society, but they manage to maintain a sense of self by establishing new roles based on their civilized natures reminiscent of society as well as their innate natures.

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Ralph has in his possession a nature that was developed in society and maintained upon arrival on this island.

Using a conch that represented democracy, Ralph’s goal is to maintain order reminiscent of civilization on the island and ultimately return home. He is voted president and tries his best to emphasize that returning to society is of utmost importance. Jack, on the other hand, has in his possession has own innate nature, released from Jack upon the children being stranded on the island and deprived of human necessities. By using facepaint, spears and weapons for barbaric hunting, he has accepted his innate nature and resorted back to his own animalistic instincts to survive. He now only seeks his own survival and to become leader of the children, disregarding the importance of being rescued. The differing natures available to the children determined different means of survival and priorities between Jack and Ralph. As demonstrated by the nomadic intellectuals of Fahrenheit 451 and the children of Lord of the Flies, one’s sense of self and purpose in life can be defined by the objects they owe. The book people hold in their possession the knowledge of books in hopes of preserving literature for future generations, and the children hold onto a nature, whether reflective of society or innate, to preserve a sense of self.

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A Comparison of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Lord of the Flies by William Golding. (2022, Sep 27). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-comparison-of-fahrenheit-451-by-ray-bradbury-and-lord-of-the-flies-by-william-golding/

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