Explain the destruction man has on the environment throughout the novel Lord of the Flies.

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter, references run rampant to the "scar" that the plane caused on the island in scratching the surface of the earth there. Obviously in this case, the technology of man combined with man that was in the plane later littered up the island tremendously destroying the land.

In chapter 5, Ralph called a meeting that called attention to the boys lack of respect for the land:

 “I said if you’re taken short you keep away from the fruit. That’s dirty!” Laughter rose again.

“I said that’s dirty!”

He plucked at his stiff, grey shirt. “That’s really dirty. If you’re taken short you go right along the beach to the rocks. See?”

Piggy held out his hands for the conch but Ralph shook his head. His speech was planned, point by point.

“We’ve all got to use the rocks again. This place is getting dirty.” He paused. The assembly, sensing a crisis, was tensely expectant. 

Taking short meant going to the bathroom. The boys began letting loose wherever and whenever they felt like it. This really made the place filthy when they had already had a plan in place for cleansing the land.

These details taken together demonstrate the lack of respect the boys had for the environment. Perhaps their civility made them that way. I think you could use these circumstances to argue that humanity has a destructive tendency toward nature.


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Lord of the Flies

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