Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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

In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, mask-wearing fuels the retrogression of those who wear them. The masks allow the wearers to detach from their former personalities and assume new identities, which are not bound by the same laws as their former personalities. The best example of this is Jack. The anonymity provided by his mask empowers him to degenerate into a violent savage who has no regard for rules and no sense of accountability.

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In Lord of the Flies, mask-wearing fuels the retrogression of the boys who wear them. Masks are used to conceal one's true identity, which allows the wearer to assume a new identity. This anonymity and detachment from one's true self can result in a break not only from one's personality, but also from civilization and its laws. As we see in the novel, the boys who wear masks become progressively wild and unruly. This applies to Jack in particular. After applying his mask, he looks at his reflection in the water: "He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger." Jack is...

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