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Stranded on an island after their plane crashes in World War II, English school boys find themselves in a virtual paradise. The golden- haired Ralph realizes that he and the other boys are alone on the island:
Aren't there any grownups at all?...Then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him....Here was a coral island.
Coral Island is the title of a book by R.M Ballantyne, a Victorian novel in which three shipwrecked boys vanquish savage natives, illustrating the superiority of Christianity and civilization. Thus, Ralph envisions the island as a symbol of a Garden of Eden. However, as the narrative progresses and the boys degenerate into savages because they come from "...a civilization that...was in ruins" and without its restraints the inherent evil emerges in the boys. In the later chapters, after Jack and the hunters steal the fire, Ralph realizes that his island is, indeed, not Coral Island.
...found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet.”
In Chapter 6, "a sign came down from the world of grownups" that is so mysterious that the boys are terrified by this dead parachutist at the top of the mountain that they envision it as a "beast," a symbol of evil and danger. However, the boys do not understand that the "beastie" is within them even though Simon attempts to communicate to them that it is their own humanity they fear, a humanity that is more easily exposed on the island that is without the restraints of civilization.
Later in this chapter, the boys make their way to castle island where Roger and the other hunters become excited about the large pink granite rocks and stones, "that token of preposterous time." In their excitement, the boys roll some of the boulders down the mountain watching them crash against the slopes, an action that proves symbolic of the forthcoming death of Piggy, whose glasses have symbolized rationalism--glasses that are now broken.
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