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Lord of the flies (1954) and Things Fall Apart (1958) are written by two

prominent novelists William Golding and Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Lord of
the Flies is about the British schoolboys who stuck on a tropical inhabitable island
after a plane had been crashed on the Pacific Ocean. On the other side, Things Fall
Apart portrays the story about the tragic fall of the central character, Okonkwo, and
the Igbo culture. As the story is different and context contains dissimilar elements,
the theme of the novels is also different from other. In the lord of the flies Golding
uses a theme of civilization and savagery, but in the Achebe's things fall apart, the
central idea of the theme is Igbo Societys Complexity by the tragic fall of the
protagonist, Okonkwo and Igbo culture.
First we will discuss briefly about the term theme.
A theme is an underlying topic of a discussion or a recurring idea in an artistic work.
it derives from ancient Greek word thema (through Latin and French) whose many
interrelated uses all have to do with the idea of the main subject of something. A
novels theme is the central idea that the writer states or articulates. Theme can
also be described as the underlying sense of the story. The theme of a novel is more
important than its subject material since an authors technique can play as a strong
role in mounting a theme as the actions of the characters do. For example,
American novelist Wright Morris describes the interaction of the past and present in
his writing The Field of Vision (1956), that is set in a bullfight in Mexico. Morriss
method is to use the bullfights action as a trigger that reasons each of the five
characters, all American audiences and to remember events from the past.
Chaos and savagery against civilization is the main theme in Goldings Lord of the
Flies. Golding shows this world-view by placing British boys alone to fend for

themselves on an island without any adults to enforce civilization. Each of the

characters define parts of society. Ralph embodies law and democracy, Piggy
denotes innovation and discovery, Simon symbolizes the natural goodness in
humanity, Jack embodies tyranny, Roger is the symbol of cruelty and injustice, the
littluns are the representative of the common poor people, and the bigguns are the
representative the higher class in the society. The novel describes what happens
when these elements of society clash without laws.
At the beginning of the novel, the impression of order and civilization is still in the
boys' minds as they decide to make laws and pick a leader. Also they are British,
they should be well behaved, well disciplined. They elected Ralph as their leader
because of his responsible and careful attitude, which shows that they care for law
and order. But Golding brings the clash between civilization and savagery between
the novels two sublime characters: Ralph, the protagonist, who symbolizes order
and leadership; and Jack, the antagonist, who epitomizes savagery and the desire
for power. Although Jack is the central representative of savagery, he is not the only
one. Roger is another example. He is cruel, brutal, barbaric and his main objective is
to please and impress Jack, from which he gets favor and gratification. Their conflict
became deeper as the story progress and at one point they completely lost
innocence and civilization.
Power is an another theme found in lord of the Flies. Jack always boasted
of himself and did not like ralph at all. From the beginning of the novel, jack showed
pride and he preferred to do he likes. As the story progresses, we can see, jack
finally formed other group and forced and threatened other boys of the Ralphs
group to join with his group. At one time, jack was so mad that he did not hesitate

to kill ralph for power. Fear was also worked in the mind of the boys. The boys in
Lord of the Flies was afraid of the beast although there was no beast in the island.
Freedom and loss of innocence are the two important themes of Golding s
novel. After stuck on the deserted island, there were no one to guide and take care
themselves. They enjoyed all freedom as like as the birds in the open sky. Thus the
boys of the island naturally lose the sense of innocence that they infatuated at the
beginning of the novel. As the time progress, the boys who are well civilized and
longing for rescue, then they became cruel, bloodthirsty hunters. They completely
lost innocence by killing Simon and piggy and jack ordered other boys to find Ralph
and kill him.
Achebes things fall apart, Igbo Society Complexity is one of the major
themes we found in his writing. To support this, he includes detailed explanations of
the justice codes and the trial process, the social and family rites, the marriage
customs, food production and preparation procedures, the method of shared
governance for the community, religious views and practices, and the prospects for
effectively every man to climb the clan's ladder of success through his own efforts.
The story may have been shown the Okonkwo's deterioration in character in an
increasingly unsympathetic and incompatible environment, but Achebe emphasized
the complex and dynamic qualities of the Igbo in Umuofia.
We have seen the clash of cultures in Achebes things fall apart. The clash
of cultures is unquestionably one of the most universal themes seen in literature.
This clash of cultures happens at the individual and societal levels, and the cultural
misapprehension. the Igbo primarily criticize the Christians and the missionaries as
"foolish" and they did not like their missions. For Achebe, the Africans'

misunderstandings of themselves and of Europeans need readjustment as much as

do the misperceptions of Africans by the West. By his own actions, he inspires other
Africans, particularly ones with Western education, to understand that they may
misunderstand their native culture.
Pointing out more information of culture clash, we can look at how Okonkwo's son,
Nwoye, is detached from his family by the missionaries and their religion. "It was
not the mad logic of the Trinity that captivated him. He did not understand it. It was
the poetry of the new religion, something felt in the marrow"(chapter 16). Nwoye
joins with the Christians, adopting their religion and separating himself from his
Social rank and relative wealth have played great roles in determining a
persons destiny in Umuofia society. But sometimes a man with absolute force of will
can change his stars through hard work and a smattering of luck. One of the key
conflicts in Things Fall Apart is the clash between Okonkwos willpower to succeed
and fate which seems to have less mouthwatering things in mind. However,
Okonkwos willpower does play a major factor in determining his future; he chooses
to kill Ikemefuna with his own hands, he decides on to kill a government official, and
in the end he decides to take his own life.