Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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How can I explain the "coming of age" theme in Lord Of The Flies?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The coming-of-age theme is important in Lord of the Flies precisely because almost none of the boys successfully go through it. Only Ralph makes real progress toward adulthood. If the rescue had not come when it did, they soon would all have killed each other.

Many of the group's difficulties are caused by their youth and inexperience. They are simply unable to grow up as fast as they need to in order to survive. Their failure to cooperate is identified with childishness. Those who succeed at hunting refuse to share or to value others' contributions.

Jack, who is the least mature of the boys in his age cohort, cannot grasp the meaning of leadership; he is mainly interested in adulation. His immaturity costs two boys their lives.

Piggy makes some progress in maturing, but his opportunities are cut short. His stubborn, inflexible personality is also ill-suited to the circumstances. Had he not fallen victim to resentful bullies, he would have continued to counsel Ralph and might have gained some...

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