The Lord of the Flies; The Joy Luck Club Jessica Vice - Humanities 2A


The Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and their attempt to govern themselves, ending with some serious results.


The Joy Luck Club is a 1989 novel written by Amy Tan. The book itself focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families, in San Francisco, who start a club where they play a tile-based game that originated in China called Mahjong. While playing this game, the mothers and daughters share stories about their lives, and how they ended up where they are now.


The Lord of the Flies: Complete Control

The Lord of the Flies main themes include control. In the novel, the purest forms of control are what is seen in Ralph, and especially Jack. In Jack, the leader of the hunters, the longing he has to be the leader of them all is very evident. He longs and wishes for total power, and complete control.

An excerpt from Lord of the Flies that proves this statement about Jack is in Chapter 1, Page 28.

"Shut up," said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. "Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things."

"A chief! A chief!"

"I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp."

The Joy Luck Club: Control Over Ones Destiny

In The Joy Luck Club, control is presented throughout the basis of the novel. It is an ongoing discussion about just how much influence each person has, how much control, and how much power a person has over their destiny, or fate.

Comparison - Control

In both Lord of the Flies, and The Joy Luck Club, we see an eagerness for power and control. Although in different scenarios, one to lead for survival and one to lead their own life, control is one of the main themes that is very apparent in both novels.


The Lord of the Flies: Lord of the Flies; Simon

The Lord of the Flies is the bloody, severed head that Jack places on a stake in the Forest as an offering to the beast. This symbol becomes a huge part of the book when Simon confronts the severed head and it seems to speak to him.

Simon is his own symbol, representing just the good of the human race. He uses his power for good, to protect the younger boys and make the group better.

The Joy Luck Club: Pendant

Pendant: On page 112, Jing-Mei, one of the main characters, discusses the Pendant her mother gave her, called her "Life's importance."

"5 months mother gave me my 'life's importance', a jade pendant on a gold chain...These days, I think about my life's importance. I wonder what it means, because my mother died 3 months ago, 6 days before my 36th birthday. And she's the only person I could've asked, to tell me about life's importance, to help me understand my grief."

Comparison - The Good

The comparison I made between the Lord of the Flies and the Joy Luck Club was morals, as well as just what is good. In Joy Luck Club, the pendant represents life's importance, while in Lord of the Flies, Simon represents the goodness in human beings. I connected these two because of the importance of both, and the idea that life's importance and the good in people, are one and the same.

That in life, it is important to be a good person.


The Lord of the Flies: Jack

Jack, a strong-willed boy in the novel, is a representative of savagery, violence, and the desire for power. From the beginning of the novel, Jack wants power over all things, and is very upset when he loses to Ralph when elected as chief. Jack and his followers embrace violence and savagery, and he will do anything he can to feel powerful.

The Joy Luck Club: Suyuan Woo

Suyuan Woo, a strong woman, struggles to create things like happiness and success. She is also the founder of the Joy Luck Club in the novel. She has a sense of power that can at times cause problems. She also has a fierce love for her daughter that seems unbreakable.

Comparison - Power and Love

Besides the obvious comparison of need for power, and excessive use of it, one comparison I made was the idea of fierce love. Although they are different in many ways, Jack and Suyuan have more in common with their personalities. Jack has a fierce love, want, and longing for complete power. Suyuan has a fierce love for her daughters, and a want and longing to see her long lost twins in China. Power and love are the two things these characters continually and obviously show throughout both novels.

Another comparison, although somewhat upsetting, we can make between novels is that in Lord of the Flies, Simon dies, as well as Suyuan in the Joy Luck Club.


In Conclusion, The Lord of the Flies and The Joy Luck Club, have a majority of differences, but many similarities as well. They connected through theme, symbols, and characters, as well as many others. The fight for control, life's importance and the good in people, and lastly fierce love and desire for power among characters are some of the main comparison points in both novels, and are what make these books such an interesting and compelling read.


Created with images by ddouk - "sunset sea sun" • One From RM - "Lord of the flies" • jumpinjimmyjava - "Lord of the Flies" • Joel Funk - "1/52 The Lord Of The Flies." • Ben Husmann - "16" • cdrummbks - "big read: the joy luck club" • gmshtwjl - "china beijing the great wall"

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