A fable is a short story from which a generalised moral can be drawn. A fable usually contains magical features and talking animals. The settings are usually unrealistic and universal and the events are not literally true. Fables have a strong element of folk-tales, such as the repeating pattern of events and the pattern of three.
Aesop’s fables are well known fables. For example the story of “The hare and the tortoise” for which the moral is “plodding wins the race”. Another is “The fox and the grapes” for which the moral is “It is easy to despise what you cannot get”.
Writers use this genre to present a message or to get their ideas across. They were probably used to teach children morals and make them easier to understand.
“The house of Eld” was published in 1896 after the writers, Robert Louis Stevenson’s death. It was written in Victorian times and after the industrial revolution. It was also written after the shock of Charles Darwin’s theory if evolution. These events both had big influences on his writing it was written to get his message across, which to me is still unclear. But I do think that it may have something to do with changes in a society, much like the changes that occurred because of the industrial revolution and the theory of evolution. The audience for his story was probably children of that time.
The “lord of the flies” was first published in 1954 and was written by William Goldin, who won the Nobel Prize for literature. It doesn’t appear to be a fable because it is in fact a novel. It was written after World War Two, when threat of a nuclear attack seemed very real. As a child he loved reading desert island stories, “Coral Island” being his favourite. It was a story about three boys living on a deserted island who lived in bliss. But he soon found that this story was far from real when he became a teacher at a public boys school. The “lord of the Flies” was strongly influenced by the story of “Coral Island” and Golding’s role in the war. He was sceptical about the optimism about the end of the war and thought that people were trying to place evil somewhere else. He wanted people to confront it. The Purpose of “Lord of the Flies” was to show that Evil resides in everyone. The audience for his book was adults as it is a novel and uses some difficult vocabulary.
Similarities in the fables are that they both put across how they feel about human nature. Golding’s being about how he feels the evil inside of everyone and Stevenson’s being about someone trying to change the way that people live. In “Lord of the Flies” the conch represents order and social status. In “The house of Eld” the gyve represents belief and order of the people wearing them. Both books show what happens when you take those things away.
The traditional form of a fable is a short story with the moral stated at the end. “The House of Eld” is written in this form but with the moral stated at the end in verse. This makes the moral ambiguous to us. In “Lord of the Flies”, Golding adapted the form of traditional fables to writing a novel and not by stating the moral at the end.
Fables are usually set in an unknown place. They tend to be universalised and unrealistic. In “The House of Eld” the setting is unknown. Phases such as “Jupiter is longsuffering to the benighted” suggest a setting in the Roman period, as Jupiter is a god from Roman mythology. However the lines “There was in that village a sword of heavenly forgery” and “Then he asked after the Wood of Eld and the house of sorcery”, suggest that the setting is a l village close to some wood, typical of the fable genre.
The setting of “Lord of the Flies” is also an unknown place, an unknown uninhabited island. Although “The House of Eld” is closer to the typical setting of a fable, the setting of “Lord of the Flies” is much more universalised. Golding uses his island setting as a microcosm of the real world. It is a small representation of the war and what happens to society when civilisation is taken away. The quote “Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins”