In Lord of the Flies, early on in chapter one, Piggy asks, "aren't there any grown-ups at all?" and Ralph says, "No grown-ups." How do the two boys respond differently?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph and Piggy both respond differently to the news that there are no grown-ups on the island with them, and their differed reactions both reveal important facets of their unique personalities.

  • Piggy-- Piggy's immediate reaction is one of dismay.  He begins to be visibly upset with his lips quivering and his spectacles fogging up with unshed tears.  Piggy is much more insecure than Ralph and is used to relying on the adult world for protection and approval. 
  • Ralph-- Ralph, on the other hand, is completely ecstatic about this development in their situation as "the delight of a realized ambition overcame him" (8).  He is so overcome with joy that he has to stand on his head to convey his immense satisfaction to Piggy. 

Their differed reactions reveal much about the boys' character.  Piggy's concern for the pilot and lack of grown-ups reveals that he is much more practical than Ralph, tending to view the situation from a very pragmatic standpoint--how will this affect the possibiltiy of rescue?  Ralph shows his delight at his new-found freedom; this sort of reaction marks Ralph as beign much more comfortable with the idea of independence.  Ralph is also more impetuous than Piggy, not really realizing all the implications of their isolation.

evelynguy3 | Student

The boys are quite thrilled to be without any adult supervision. However, they really don't know how to react without it. They immediately set out to recreate the society they knew on this deserted island They appoint a leader, and give each other a particular, dedicated role.

The boys constantly struggle to find the proper balance between freedom and control. They tend to react in a pre-adolescent violent nature, showing that societal constraints must be learned.

Even with all the violent conflict, they still are excited at being able to develop their own societal rules.

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Lord of the Flies

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