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In chapter 1 of 'Lord of the Flies,' what irrational actions do the boys take?

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vickieeee | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 4, 2009 at 1:36 PM via web

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In chapter 1 of 'Lord of the Flies,' what irrational actions do the boys take?

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danylyshen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted December 5, 2009 at 4:07 AM (Answer #1)

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In the first chapter of LOTF, we see the boys try and make sense of their surroundings and their situation. The boys really don't do anything irrational other than some of them think that it's great there are no adults around. The boys are also off exploring and playing all the time. The playing will become more of an issue once Ralph starts delegating chores and work projects later in the novel.

Other irrational actions may include Ralph diving into the lagoon without first checking the depth, or how Piggy tries to establish order and organization by trying to learn everyone's names. In the Enotes commentary of the chapter:

The boys, especially Piggy, bring to the island their dim childhood perceptions of society, in particular, the need for organization. Piggy tries to organize the boys by finding out their names in order to keep track of everyone.

Perhaps the childhood perceptions can now be considered "irrational" since their situation is so dire and maturity is so needed.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 5, 2009 at 4:22 AM (Answer #2)

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In the novel 'Lord Of the Flies' by William Golding we see children acting like - children! - when adults are not around. Childhood is a long process of learning to act in a rational way to reach a 'successful' adulthood - some people never get there. Golding paints us a picture of where each boy is at now, and most of them really are still children (One or two might spring to mind that are reaching maturity of thought,foresight and responsibilty - can you think who they might be?)

So we see typical childish 'irrational' or 'just-for-fun ' acts :

- chucking a huge boulder over the edge to see it roll and smash

- grabbing a wild pig and attempting to kill it,untrained,with an usuitable knife.

- swimming and diving in dangerous waters which may have held sharp rocks or sharks

Some boys improve upon this, and some degenerate further from it.

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