Theme Of Adversity In Lord Of The Flies

874 Words4 Pages

James McBride in The Color of Water and William Golding in The Lord of the Flies convey the intent that adversity helps one grow through the use of the literary techniques of external conflict and character development. Throughout McBride and Golding’s texts, main characters grow through adversity found in the form of external conflict. James in The Color of Water struggles with his life as he searches for his individual identity. One summer in Louisville, Kentucky, he ignores his intellects and associates with unhealthy role models. When he threatens to shoot someone, an old drunk known as “Chicken Man” breaks reality to James. However, when he threatens to shoot someone, an old drunk known as “Chicken Man” breaks reality to James: “You …show more content…

Thus, with strong language, even swearing, and an image in James’ mind of being stuck out on the street, Chicken Man makes James rethink his life decisions. James realizes that he is only hindering himself by staying out of school and ignoring academics. Through this conflict with Chicken Man, the harsh words and sharp undertones require James to rethink his life. He then chooses to set off on the right path, showing how he grows through the adversity posed by others. Jack Merridew in The Lord of the Flies also grows through social conflict after Ralph’s society rejects him. He then goes on to form his own tribe, where he dictates the rules. “He made one cheek and one eye socket white, then he rubbed red over the other half....He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger” (Golding 63). Inside his own tribe, Jack no longer has to follow the rules set by Ralph. Ralph in turn has an external conflict with Jack by adding societal conflict and changing rules so that Jack is almost put out of power. Through this conflict, Jack breaks free of the rules and makes a tribe where he can dictate the mandates. As he remakes himself, he physically changes his appearance to suit his …show more content…

In The Lord of the Flies, Piggy changes tremendously from the start to end of the novel. When the boys first arrive on the island, he is a very shy boy, often having Ralph convey his thoughts and ideas for him in fear of mockery. However, the boys still mock him as time goes on because they only recognize his character, not his ideas. Piggy realizes this fact and starts to break away from his previous character, just speaking his mind freely. As a result, he stands up for himself and is not so timid, as seen when the other boys break away and form their own tribe. “Which is better--to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?” (Golding 180). As he becomes completely outspoken, Piggy has no regard for the feelings of the other boys and neglects to consider how they might react to such a situation, putting his ideas before himself. Piggy changes through the hardships that the other boys put him through, and when he finally changes his character and ignores what others think of him, he grows in his character. Yet, in the end he is also hurt through his changes. In the The Color of Water, Ruth McBride has to address the adversity that society puts on her. From the start of the novel, Ruth has very low self-esteem due to her father’s behaviors. As time goes on, she does not want to be a part of the Jewish community, but is too timid to

Open Document