In chapter one of Lord of the Flies, what does Ralph imitate as he calls Piggy by his nickname?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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*Question edited down to a single question (per eNotes policy.)

In chapter one, Golding draws attention to the differences between Ralph and Piggy as he develops the characterization of both boys.  When Ralph learns Piggy's nicknames, the boy's reaction is both comical and telling:

"Ralph danced out into the hot air of the beach and then returned as a fighter-plane, with wings swept back, and machine-gunned Piggy" (11).

Ralph's response to Piggy's cruel nickname reveals that he is still very much a boy and very immature; his imitation of the fighter plane reinforces the boy's connection to the events of World War II.  Ralph is very much a product of his time.  Instead of being sensitive to Piggy's confession, Ralph's immediate response is to laugh at Piggy, and the reader can infer that his callous reaction comes more from being an immature little boy than a cruel child.  Ralph simply refuses to take Piggy seriously, choosing instead to mock the other boy and uses Piggy as an outlet for his pent-up energy and nerves.


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