In both Lord of the Flies, and I’m the King of the Castle, the plots contain messages about the difficulties faced by those who and the consequences of this. Both novels revolve heavily around the behaviour and acts of those who are perceived to be ‘upper class’, and seen by the titles of ‘Lord’ and ‘King’ present in the title, and both authors critique the way in which those who are upper class discriminate against and use those who are lower class, which ‘Lords’ and ‘Kings’, in some cases, may do. Both writers discuss ways in which those who are perceived to be ‘lower class’ are discriminated against, but also how femininity is discriminated against, in a patriarchal society, as well as those who are seen to be more intelligent and more caring, although not upper-class, are also ostracised.
Both writers present how those who are perceived to be ‘lower class’ face difficulties in society. In Hill’s novel, Kingshaw is portrayed as instantly being discriminated against by Hooper, a symbol of the British upper-classes. The fact that Kingshaw describes himself as a ‘misfit’ goes to show how Kingshaw feel that he doesn’t fit into the upper-class setting. In fact, the fact that Kingshaw is said to feel ‘extreme isolation’ further displays this idea that because of Kingshaw’s lower-class upbringing, he does not fit into the upper-class setting, because he is ‘different’. Hooper’s statements of ‘I didn’t want you to come here’ and ‘You do what I say’ goes to show the rejection towards Kingshaw, and the prejudice he faces, because these things are said before Hooper even properly gets to know Kingshaw. Furthermore, this repetition of the pronoun ‘you’ could possibly suggest that Hooper is trying to distance Kingshaw, labelling him as ‘different’, and trying to alienate him.
Hill was known to be a critic of the upper classes, and so perhaps, she is trying to illustrate the closed-mindedness of the upper-classes, and to illustrate their negative effects on society. Hill most likely uses her novel as a warning to convey the possible negative effects of the presence of the upper classes. Golding reflects this in his novel, by using the portrayal of Piggy in comparison to the other boys on the island. Golding writes how ‘Piggy was an outsider’, most likely due to the prejudice directed towards to the Piggy, because of the fact that he has an ‘accent’ and is overweight and wears ‘specs’, and also the fact that he is perceived as lower-class, compared to the upper-class boys on this island.
The fact that Piggy is forced to ‘raise his hand grudgingly’ portrays how because of the prejudice towards him, he is not entitled to put forward his own opinion or view, and instead, has to conform to the wills of the upper-classes. Golding uses this as a microcosm to reflect the happenings in the real world, where the upper-class or the British Empire have all the power, whereas the ‘normal’ people have no power at all. It is possible that Golding was influenced by the Socialist views of his father, and is trying to illustrate the negative impacts of the upper-classes, and how more power should be relayed onto the ‘normal’ people. Golding possibly uses his novel as a prophecy to foretell the future issues with the upper classes, and both authors use the portrayal of difficulties faced by those who are perceived to be lower class, to highlight the flaws in the upper classes.
Both writers also present the difficulties faced by those who are feminine in both novels. In Lord of the Flies, Golding portrays the island as very feminine, portray the trees as having ‘green feathers’, which is very intricate and ornate, and holds connotations of femininity. In addition, the descriptions of the ‘pink granite’ are also very feminine. However, the description of the plane crash as a ‘scar’ suggests that the island has been permanently damaged, Golding possibly uses this to showcase the effects of mankind and masculinity on femininity. Furthermore, the image portrayed of the ‘the great beard of fire’ displays the destructive force and power of masculinity, and the fact that this fire goes on to destroy a large portion of the paradisiacal, feminine forest, goes to show how Golding was most likely aiming to portray the destruction that the abuse of power and mankind can bring. Furthermore, the use of words such as ‘eruption’ and ‘inch by inch’ are used to portray the sexually aggressive nature of masculinity, and the way in which females are oppressed in society, which is possibly Golding’s view.
A feminist reading of the novel could possibly argue that Golding was trying to highlight the flaws in a patriarchal society. This is reflected in the way that Mrs Kingshaw, the only main female character in the novel is portrayed by Hill in I’m the King of the Castle. For example, Joseph Hooper states that ‘It is nice to have a woman now’. This phrasing, and the way in which Joseph refers to her as a ‘woman’ suggests that Joseph Hooper sees her only as a companion or as an object of sexual desire, rather than the person that she is. In addition, Hooper states that ‘she hasn’t got a husband, so she’s got to find one’, which displays that a patriarchal society is still very much present, especially in the British upper classes. This oppression causes Mrs Kingshaw to ‘shorten the hem of her skirt’, which goes to show how she has no choice but to conform to the sexual desires of Joseph Hooper. Through this, Hill is likely trying to highlight the flaws of a patriarchal society, present in the British upper classes.
In addition, those who are seen to different in the sense that they have different views and opinions also face difficulties. In Lord of the Flies, Simon is discriminated against, due to him being seen as ‘batty’ and ‘queer’. However, he is seen to be more intelligent than the rest of the boys, as when he says ‘maybe it’s only us’, when the boys are discussing the ‘beast’. Because Golding is known to have a theory that there is an ‘inner beast’ within all men, it is possible that Simon is a figure of authorial intrusion in the novel. The fact that Simon goes on to be killed in the novel, is possibly a microcosm of the way in which Golding himself was criticised by the British Government for his views. Perhaps, Golding is trying to portray the way in which those who have power do not deserve, and that those with true intelligence are not appreciated in society.
This is reflected in Hill’s novel to a lesser extent, in the way that Fielding is used by the boys from Warings. Kingshaw says how Fielding is ‘mine’, could possibly suggest that Hill is perhaps trying to portray the way in which the upper-classes believe that they own or control the lower classes. Hooper’s learning of Fielding is also essentially the trigger which causes Kingshaw to eventually commit suicide, and so, it is possible that Hill is trying to suggest that those who in fact bring nothing but relief and kindness, and are perceived to be lower-class could possibly be blamed for the consequences of the downfalls of the upper-classes. Hill is possibly trying to illustrate the ways in which the upper classes use the lower classes, and blame them for the various shortcomings of the upper class. Both writers here are essentially criticising the upper classes, for discriminating against those who are technically more intelligent or more caring than them Overall, both authors present the various ways in which people who are different face difficulties, and perhaps, they are trying to criticise the British upper classes, government and Empire for these various issues.