Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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Explain the employment of “mask-wearing” in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

In Lord of the Flies, Jack's mask of warpaint gives him new confidence and power, symbolizing his transition from civilized English schoolboy to savage tribal leader.

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In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Jack's mask of warpaint is a symbol of his transition (which is the most striking among the boys) from civilized English schoolboy to openly bloodthirsty savage. Although Jack applies the paint directly to his face, Golding repeatedly refers to it as a mask. Roger disparages Jack's "new face" as a mess, but as soon as Jack has finished painting and sees his reflection in the water, he recognizes the power of the mask:

Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that...

(The entire section contains 276 words.)

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