In Chapter 5, consider Piggy's words: "Grown-ups know things... the majesty of adult life"...Considering what brought them to the island, is Piggy right?Are the boys only failing because they...

In Chapter 5, consider Piggy's words: "Grown-ups know things... the majesty of adult life"...

Considering what brought them to the island, is Piggy right?Are the boys only failing because they aren't grown-up?

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danylyshen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It would be ludicrous of us to assume that just because we're adults we don't fight amongst ourselves, we don't want to be leaders of men, and we don't polarize to poles of good leadership and savagery. In that sense, Piggy is wrong because we all enact the "Lord of the Flies" almost on a daily basis.

On the other hand, the boys are trying to emulate what they think that grown adults would do, but they lack the experience and worldliness that goes along with living through the trials and tribulations of the passing years. Certainly, it's majestic being an adult sometimes, but most of the time it's tough slugging.  Ralph experiences a glimpse of this perspective as he trudges down the narrow path.

After Ralph calls the boys to an assembly with the conch, the scene becomes chaotic as differing views conflict with differing views. Perhaps an adult would have controlled the fire. Perhaps adults might have had shelters up already and organized hunting details. It's tough to say that adults would not have deteriorated into chaos and power struggles. Perhaps adults would have been less afraid of a "physical" beast and more afraid of an internal "beast."

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Lord of the Flies

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