A Comparative Analysis of Violence in A Rose for Emily and in Lord of the Flies

Xiaoyu HE, Lingying TANG


A Rose for Emily and Lord of the Flies, as the respective masterpiece of Faulkner’s and Golding’s, have long been studied by scholars in different times, but seldom discussed and compared violence in them before. In order to make an all-around exploration of violence in literary works, this paper conducts a comparative study on violence in these two novels from five perspectives: social background, manifesting form of violence, criminal behaviors, violence types and pursuits of protagonists. These two novels share similarities and differences on violence. As for similarities, both novels are under depressive social background, with similar manifesting forms of violence. In addition, both protagonists kill others to fulfill their own desires. As for differences, A Rose for Emily tells about women violence, while Lord of the Flies talks about men violence. Besides, in the former novel, Emily is in the pursuit of love and self-awakening, while in the latter novel Jack pursues power. Through comparison, this paper reveals that violence is rooted from desire for unattainable love or goals and the evil side of human nature. Therefore, it is necessary for readers to pay attention to cultural, social, political and psychological factors behind violence aesthetics in literature and then reduce realistic violence.


Violence aesthetics; Comparative analysis; Similarities; Differences; Root of violence

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/8188


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