The Island Coral Island vs Lord of the Flies

E. Lecatre

Travel, Exile and Initiation narratives

January 20th

Examples of Poetry:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge, 1798

I wondered lonely as a cloud by Wordsworth, 1802

> English romantic poetry

Today’s plan:

Compare two visions of the Island

The Coral Island by Ballantyne, 1857.

Lord of the Flies by Golding, 1954.

Coral Island

a shrimp: une crevette

a bower: un abri

a spear: une lance

to heave in sight: arriver en vue

a shark: un requin

a hog: a wild pig

down-to-earth: pragmatique / terre à terre

self-reliant: self-confident : avoir de l’assurance / être sûr de soi


Lord of the Flies:

a conch: une conque

peered: apparaître dans l’obscurité

gloom: darkness: obscurité

bollocks to the rules! Les règles on s’en fout!

To break the rules: enfreindre les règles

Lord of the Flies – A Threatening Shadow

Q 1 – Kids discuss the existence of ghosts or beasts on their island. The rule of this meeting is that if you want to speak you need to hold the conch.

They disagree, there is an argument / fight. The leader is challenged. The hierarchy is upset because they break the rules.

To argue with so: se disputer avec qq’un.

to agree with so. = être d’accord

Q2 – They have to decide what to do with the beast: kill it or stop believing in it / stop being afraid. The final decision seems to be violence, killing, beating it down. It’s Jack’s decision, it’s not unanimous because Jack is rebelling against Ralph and taking leadership / the power.

Q3 Ralph upper-class / well-educated / refined / wise > he looses his position / temper / control.

Jack vulgar / offensive / rude / colloquial > aggressive / violence

Piggy doesn’t respect grammatical rules but he’s the most civilized, most innocent. > leaves

Q 4 The mood is tensed / full of conflicts / represents the fight between reason / civilization / rules / the right way and violence / beast-like behaviours

Ghosts stand for the dark side of the kids’ mind, they represent their fears and inner conflict between imagination and reason , man and beast.

It hints at the theme of madness. Kids gradually become savages, they loose control over themselves.

This extract corresponds to the dark side of the island, language gradually becomes sound only ‘beat and beat and beat’ sounds like a tribal song > could be linked to the song by Gnarls Barkley.

Personal documents:

Shutter Island vs the Beach

The Island of Doctor Moreau

The Heart of Darkness

The I and the Eye

The Sentimental Journey by Lawrence Sterne

Tristram Shandy by Sterne

> madness / split personality

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Duel by Spielberg

The Usual Suspect , David Fincher

The Shining, Kubrick

Coral Island

Q. 1 They fish and hunt to feed themselves / check for boats / making their own clothes / shoes

They know how to cope on their own, they manage, they live by.

They lead a happy life, they live and sleep under the stars, they don’t mind their situation.

Relationship= they get along well, they don’t fight, ‘we’ is used several

times there is no disagreement, no tension, no arguing.

Brotherhood of boy scouts

Q 2 – Faced with this situation / predicament they work as a team

instead of being scared, they’re self-reliant and strong-minded.

Q 3 – Nature appears like a peaceful environment / the kids are in harmony with nature / nature provides food and happiness.

Q-4 perpetual summer / water garden > the island is heaven on earth / the Garden of Eden > Utopia


Coral Island stands in sharp contrast with Lord of the Flies. Both extracts depict kids surviving on an island. Yet in Coral Island nature provides food and happiness whereas in Lord of the Flies the island reveals the evil side of man.

Issues at stake here?

How far can we survive as human beings?

What’s the limit to our humanity?

Are the rules always the solution?

Are kids truly innocent?

Is it necessary to loose your innocence to become a man?


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