In "Lord of the Flies", how are civilization and primitive states compared?In "Lord of the Flies", chapter 1, how are civilization and primitive states compared?

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter, one of the first signs of primitive life is realization that there are no grownups remaining from another immediate signs of primitive life - the crash itself on an uninhabited island.  The crash, the isolated island, and the lack of adult maturity and guidance. lets the reader know that the boys are on their own.  They are completely removed from civilization.  Ralph immediately strips and flings himself with abandon into the water to enjoy the sense of freedom.  Piggy quickly points out that they may never get rescued because they crash-landed and no one knows where they are.  That brings Ralph back to the reality of the situation so that he goes at once from primitive - playing in the water - to civilized as he dons his clothing again. Jack and the choir boys have on their robes which is a sign of civilized life.  Once the boys are gathered, the boys decide to have a meeting, an example of civilization.  The election of a leader is also civilized.  Jack, Ralph, and Simon set off to investigate the island, another civilized move.  Pushing the rock off the cliff is primitive.  The scar from the crash is primitive. There are more signs of primitive life as the chapter progresses and fewer signs of civilization. The conch shell is a mix - it is primitive but its use is civilized.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question