Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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At one point in Lord of the Flies, Ralph fears capture by "the Reds." Who are the Reds?

The Reds that Ralph fears will capture them in Lord of the Flies are the Soviet communists. Ralph, feeling despondent, tries to rationalize their lack of success in building a fire to attract rescue by saying they might end up in the hands of their enemies even with a fire, so what difference does it make? This is a low point in the novel, as even the last civilized boys start to fall into a more primitive state.

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In chapter ten, Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric try their best to maintain a small fire and begin to lament their unfortunate situation. At this point in the story, the majority of the boys have joined Jack's tribe of savages at the other end of the island, and they have all participated in Simon's brutal murder. For Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric, their spirits are at an all-time low and they recognize that things will never be the same. While they attempt to keep the small fire lit, Ralph reveals his cynicism by saying,

We might get taken prisoner by the Reds. (Golding, 233)

Ralph's reference to "the Reds" is an allusion to the Soviet communists, who formed the Red Army. Lord of the Flies was published in 1954, which was nine years after WWII ended and during the time when the United States was involved in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, Britain was allied with the United States, which explains why Ralph views the Reds as enemies and fears becoming their captive.

Ralph recognizes...

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