Robinson Crusoe is a book about a sailors travels across the world despite his father’s discouragement. Upon a voyage, his ship is seized by pirates and he is enslaved until he escapes on a fishing expedition with a slave boy. He sells the slave boy to a Portuguese man who can take him to Brazil and becomes a slave owner on a plantation himself in Brazil. Then, he embarks upon a journey to pick up slaves in Africa. The trip doesn’t go to plan and he is shipwrecked on a desert island. The book follows his adventures on the island and his encounters with the local people. These local people are rumoured to be cannibals so there is a certain tension to any meeting with a person or a persons tracks upon the island. As he befriends people and saves others, his faith is tested and finally he gets to journey home upon a ship returning to England.
This book has few similarities with Lord of the Flies; the main and obvious one being the setting. A large difference in this book is the age of the characters and the interaction with new people on the island. In Lord of the Flies, it is only the boys who find themselves there in the first instance and they don’t encounter anybody new. Without reading the rest of Lord of the Flies, I cannot draw too many similarities between the plots of the books however, I will assume that in the way there is a test of moral compass in Lord of the Flies, there is a test of faith in Robinson Crusoe. Furthermore, another more obscure similarity is that Robinson Crusoe struggles with the morals of the world he used to know on the island when he meets Man Friday. This is the kind of man he is accustomed to enslaving but he takes to him and decides to teach him. There is this detachment from the people’s old lives in Lord of the Flies with the hunters and the masks; escaping from themselves to find a more brutal, heartless, survival driven character.
Coral Island is written retrospectively in the first person, about three young men deserted on an uninhabited island. They scavenge for food and using their own brains and the resources available to them on the island they learn to survive via the correct steps. Later, they encounter pirates and have to fight for their lives. Then, Ralph is captured by English pirates and learns a life of savagery that is rather unsettling for the fifteen year old main character. After war is waged between the local inhabitants and the pirates, the boys all escape to another island. As if it couldn’t get any worse, they are then taken prisoner on the new island. Finally, released, they set sail for home as adults.
This desert island story has more similarities with Lord of the Flies however, it is less of an emotional journey and is more built around events within the story. From the synopsis, it doesn’t seem to so closely explore the emotions attached to the situation and the character interaction as it is driven by lots of different major incidents Despite this, the book is similar in the way that is written from the perspective of boys and is initially about how they cope with surviving with little resources. The setting is again a commonality but in Coral Island, the boys do venture forth from the first island they find themselves on. A major difference is found in the way that the characters deal with their situation. As the boys are older in Coral Island, they are constructive and do the correct things to stay alive. Whereas, in Lord of the Flies, there is much more confusion associated with the situation and less of a sense of direction for the characters.