Explore How Isolation used by both authors? Essay
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One way in which Isolation is presented in through social isolation: it can be noted that Piggy is particularly a victim here. Golding states that the “naked crooks of [Piggy’s] knees were plump and that he was “shorter than the fair boy”. From Piggy’s immediate introduction, he is already portrayed as an outsider, in comparison with the “fair boy” who symbolises the other islanders. Perhaps Golding’s use of the word “naked” is an implicit way of suggesting Piggy’s vulnerability which is what ultimately leads to Piggy being socially isolated.
An interesting instance of Piggy as a victim of social isolation is when he is forbidden to sit with the rest of the islanders;
“Piggy sat expressionless behind the luminous wall of his myopia”- Golding is explicitly stating that Piggy is excluded because of his “myopia”, which is compared to a wall; the “luminous wall” represents a metaphorical wall between Piggy and the rest of society. Piggy himself appears to accept that he is not accepted by referring to the islanders as “them other kids”; the word “them” highlights this clear difference in social status between Piggy and the other islanders and hence why he is excluded. One could argue that Golding is utilising social isolation to criticise British culture; as many were a victim of social prejudice when this book was published in the 1950s.
This is comparable to the social isolation faced by Kingshaw in I’m the King of the Castle; which, like Piggy’s, is caused by Kingshaw being a member of the lower class. Hill immediately indicates Kingshaw lower class, upon his introduction describing the sky as “the colour of dirty sixpences” – I feel this is interesting on two notes, perhaps the six pence is an indication of Kinghaw’s lower class because a sixpence was of little value, or equally the “dirty colours” could be a form of pathetic fallacy, and hence a form of prolepsis beckoning for Kingshaw to suffer social isolation.
One example of the social isolation faced by Kingshaw is when he escapes from Waring’s to the remote Hang Wood, which is depicted (from Kingshaw’s point of view) as “being completely hidden” and thus why “he liked it”. The word hidden is comparable to isolation, something that Kingshaw could only dream about. Hill, like Golding, may also be criticising the divide in classes, perhaps she felt that the lower class were often mis-treated, the effects of which burdened on the youngest of the family.
Both Piggy and Kingshaw are comparable because they face social isolation because they are of lower class. However, it should be noted that whilst Piggy does not wish to subjected to isolation, Kingshaw see isolation as method of escaping persecution, and therefore he embraces isolation. Because of this, I feel Hill has been the more effective author in here use of isolation, isolation has a greater meaning in I’m the King of the Castle, it is Kinghaw’s only method of surviving Hooper’s reign of terror, whereas in Lord of the Flies, the reader can argue Golding’s portrayal of Piggy as an irritating character is also a cause of his isolation. An issue both authors face however is that their ideas on class are now out-dated, the modern reader may not understand references made by Hill and Golding regarding class.
Another way that Golding utilises isolation, is in the portrayal and hence the effects of the isolation of children from adults. When the children discover there aren’t any adults on the island, they begin to distribute “adult” roles in society, and begin creating their own rules. Initially Piggy appears to be horrified at the prospect of isolation from adults; nervously asking “Aren’t there any grown ups at all?”- Piggy the voice of reason is aware of the ill-effects of children inhabiting an island by themselves, and most likely explains the cause of concern in his voice. This isolation from “grow-ups” has devastating effects, as the children begin to lose contact with the rules that the very adults made themselves: this is symbolised when the savages are “painted out of recognition”- in this case recognition could symbolically represent the rules of society (adults) but because of the isolation faced by the savages, they no longer obey such rules.
The verb “painted” is especially effective here as it describes the manner in which isolation affects the young: slowly over time. Another instance of isolation causing behaviour that our society would not accept is when a dictatorship emerges under Jack: one of the highlights of this being when a savage states “[Jack] is going to beat Wilfred” – the casual manner in which the savage speaks depicts the distances that Jack’s “tribe” have moved from society, there is no emotion in that phrase and this only further suggests the negative impact on children when they are isolated from adults. Perhaps Golding is being cynical of human nature, criticising humans and their lack of empathy which only appears to be existent because of the rules of society. Maybe, Golding see’s the deeper impacts of bad human nature, such as poverty in poorer countries.