In Chapter One, how does Golding let the reader know that the island, which the boys believe is a paradise, is a dangerous place?

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The island is a paradise until the boys crash land there because they are what make the island dangerous.  Jack, specifically, is the character through whom Golding lets the reader know that this place will be dangerous, but in the beginning, the sheer destructiveness of the boys gives the reader the impression of danger.  When Simon, Ralph, and Jack explore the island and come upon a huge rock that they push off the edge of the cliff just for the thrill of destruction.  Then as the three boys begin to make their way back to the beach where the other boys are, they come across a piglet caught in some creepers.  Jack takes out a knife and raises his arm to kill the pig, but he paused "long enough for them to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be."  Golding is letting the reader know that the savagery of the downward stroke will take place, not now, but later.  When Jack does finally kill a pig later in the story, the savage nature is coming out of the boys. Now, an embarrassed Jack says he hesitated, not out of a civilized resistance to violence, but because he was trying to find a place to stick the pig, like hesitating due to being civilized was a negative characteristic.  Then Jack says, "I was choosing a place.  Next time--!"  The reader is sure there will be a next time and Jack will kill the pig. 

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question