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In Lord of the Flies, how is the following theme evidenced in Chapter Four?Outward...

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danielb77 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2012 at 4:43 AM via web

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In Lord of the Flies, how is the following theme evidenced in Chapter Four?

Outward appearance of civilized behaviour hides a strong inner impulse to hurt and control others.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Consider the way in which the bigger and stronger boys begin to show signs of victimising and picking on the littluns. This can be seen, if we examine the novel as a whole, as a key moment in the general slide into savagery of the boys as a group as the boys begin to realise that the institutions that prevented their savagery before are now absent on the island. However, interestingly, the shadow that such institutions cast are still very strong. Consider the following example that shows how Roger begins to torment hte littluns:

Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.

Because of the looming shadow of "parents and school and policemen and the law," Roger's violent instincts and actions are curtailed to rather petty acts such as throwing stones and stamping on sandcastles. Unfortunately, however, the novel shows how with the passing of time the shadow of such protective spectres begins to fade and the violent instincts of the boys are free to dominate and to be expressed.


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