In chapter 1 of Lord of the Flies, how are the boys presented as having animalistic features??

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boys stranded on the island in Lord of the Flies demonstrate animalistic behavior in their primitive delights.

  • When Ralph first picks his way to the lagoon, he hears a voice, but he does not let it interfere with his enjoyment of the new freedom. He stands on his head automatically.
  • Piggy catches up with him, introduces himself, but Ralph ignores him.
  • Piggy has to move into foliage to defecate. He grunts.
  • Ralph steals away from Piggy, hiding in the branches.
  • In the heat, Ralph tears off his clothes.
  • He "laughs delightedly" that no adults are around.
  • When Piggy tells Ralph that he hates his nickname, Ralph shrieks with laughter and mimics his name, "Piggy! Piggy!" with no consideration of Piggy's feelings.
  • After Jack and the others appear, Simon, Jack, and Ralph explore the island. They push the large rocks off the sides of the mountain with "bass strings of delight" as they shout "Whizzoh!" in their physical pleasure.
  • In the pool of water, Ralph paddles around, then he immerses his mouth in the water, then blows a jet of water into the air like a whale.
  • After all their climbing, the boys are "panting like dogs."
  • They are needlessly cruel to Piggy because he is fat and slow.
  • Roger is a "slow, furtive" boy, like a predatory animal
  • After the three boys climb and explore, they delight in their actions, laughing, and in Ralph's case, standing on his head.
  • Somehow they instinctively know that what they will find is that the area is, in fact, an island.
  • The three boys enjoy "the right of domination."
Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

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