In Chapter 1 of Lord of the Flies, why are some of the boys fully-clothed, while others are not?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Chapter One, some of the boys are fully-clothed while others are not, because of the intense heat of the South Pacific climate of the island where the boys are located.  The boys had been traveling via plane from their home country of England, still clothed in their traditional school uniforms.  After crash-landing on the island, the boys quickly realize that their uniforms are ill-suited to the oppressive heat of the jungle and begin to strip down to fewer articles of clothing.  Ralph exemplifies this in the first opening lines of the novel:

"Though he had taken off his school sweater and trailed it now from one hand, [...] all around him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat" (7). 

As the other boys enter the scene, Golding portrays them in various states of undress as well to emphasize the immediate effects of the harsh, savage environment on the constructs of civilization such as school uniforms.

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