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How many children were killed in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

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sallysal1987 | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted July 23, 2013 at 10:15 PM via web

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How many children were killed in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM (Answer #1)

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All of the characters in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, are young boys ranging in age from five or six to about thirteen. They are on an island after a plane crash, and there are no adults to who they must answer. This environment provides the opportunity for almost anything to happen, including murder. Three boys lose their lives in the course of this novel. 

The first boy dies in a fire. Early in the story, the boys, in their enthusiasm, light a fire that gets out of control. The fire becomes a conflagration which consumes a lot of land plus a little boy with a mulberry birthmark. If he had not had this distinctive marking, it is possible no one would have missed him. 

The second death on the island is Simon's. On a dark, stormy night, Simon crawls out of the forest and tries to warn the others that they are the thing they should be most afraid of--they are the only beasts on the island. In a frenzied moment, all of the boys kill Simon, something they would probably not have done in different circumstances.

Piggy is the last boy to die on the island. His death, unlike the other two, is deliberate. Roger murder Piggy by dropping a huge boulder on him, crushing both Piggy and the conch. 

Undoubtedly Ralph would have been the next boy to die if they had not been rescued. Ralph weeps for "end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart" at the end of the novel. Though the boys will leave the island, what happened to all of the boys--and particularly the three who died--will undoubtedly never be forgotten. 

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