Books Vs. Movies: Comparing and Contrasting “Lord of the Flies”

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Books Vs. Movies: Comparing and Contrasting “Lord of the Flies”

This essay will compare and contrast the book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding with its movie adaptations. It will discuss the similarities and differences in character portrayal, plot development, and thematic representation between the book and its cinematic interpretations. At PapersOwl too, you can discover numerous free essay illustrations related to Fiction.

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As most remakes are, the book “Lord of the Flies” and the movie are significantly different. Key components to the meaning and impact of the story are altered, in my opinion, for the worse when looking from the book to the movie. There are three changes we can see between the stories that could be looked upon as major differences. Without exception, the preferred version of the story seems to be that of the book.

Altering the Concept of the Beast: The Power of Isolation and Uncertainty

The first major difference that seemed to make an impact on the message of the story is involved with the beast.

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In the novel, the pilot that is mistaken for the beast is introduced to the novel towards the middle of the story. This happens when he parachutes down onto the island, dead after his plane is destroyed. However, in the movie, the pilot is on the island from the very beginning of the novel when he arrives there with them since the beginning. This alteration subtracts from the movie. This is because, in the novel, at the start of the story, the fact that there are no adults on the island enhances the feelings the boys have of loneliness, helplessness, ignorance, and isolation. Also, the addition of the pilot in the middle of the story can remind the reader and characters that there is still another world out there, other than on the island. I believe that this adds an interesting feel to the story that is unfortunately taken out in the movie.

National Identity and Symbolism: English Boys vs. American Cadets

Another distinction between the book and the movie is that in the novel, the boys stranded on the island are English. Some of them were even part of a choir boys. However, in the movie, the characters were American military cadets. This substitution lessens the impact of an important message William Golding was trying to express; there is savageness and evil within everybody. Since the boys in the movie were already trained to use violence, it was less of a surprise when they became savages because they were trained for war. However, in the novel, the pure and uncorrupted choir boys are ironically the ones who become the most savage. This supports the theme that William Golding was trying to express through his novel; there is savageness and evil within everybody. Therefore, this change in the movie lessens the impact of this message subtracting from the movie.

Omission of Crucial Dialogues: Simon’s Encounter with the Lord of the Flies

The third major difference between the book and the movie is that the movie grazed over the conversation between Simon and the Lord of The Flies. This difference subtracts from the movie’s major theme. This is because Simon’s interaction with the Lord of The Flies in the book shows a message of mankind’s inner evil. The Lord of The Flies is like the archetype of the Devil Figure. It was talking to Simon as if he knew better than him like he was “just an ignorant, silly little boy.” (page 143). It spoke as if he was an evil beast inside of everyone. This conversation corresponds to a major theme of the story, which makes it important. Since the movie lacked this event, it weakened the impact of the story’s message. The movie would be much more impactful with this event.

Conclusion: The Impact of Adaptation

The three main differences between the film and the novel are all about important aspects of the story. In every case discussed, the way the storyline is set up in the book compared to the movie is more impactful and helpful to the overall message of evil being inside of everyone.   

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Books vs. Movies: Comparing and Contrasting "Lord of the Flies". (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from