Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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How did the littluns spend their day in Lord of the Flies?

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The Littleuns spend their day eating and playing around.

The littleuns are the smallest children on the island.  Most of the older kids never bother to learn their names.  They defer to the older children and consider Ralph like an adult because he is bigger than they are. 

The littleuns are ignored most of the time.  When tasks need to be performed, it is assumed they have no value.

“They’re hopeless. The older ones aren’t much better. D’you see? All day I’ve been working with Simon. No one else. They’re off bathing, or eating, or playing.” (Ch. 3)

Ralph has a point. The little kids spend their days playing on the beach, swimming, or eating fruit from the trees.

They ate most of the day, picking fruit where they could reach it and not particular about ripeness and quality. … Apart from food and sleep, they found time for play, aimless and trivial, in the white sand by the bright water. (Ch. 4)

The littleuns are always dirty, but they cry for their mothers less and less as time goes on.  They obey the conch when one of the older boys blows it, but otherwise they pretty much ignore the older boys and the older boys ignore them.

When the signal fire gets out of control and burns a swatch through the island, one of the littleuns is never seen again. It is assumed that he died.  He has a mulberry-colored birthmark, or other older kids may never have noticed him at all.  No one really cares that he is dead either.  The younger kids do not really understand, and the older ones just seem to take it as a normal occurrence.

The division between the children with names and the littleuns demonstrates the society developing on the island.  The children are broken into classes.  The older boys do not seem to feel responsible for the younger ones.  No one takes care of them, so they just cry for their mothers and eat themselves sick.  The older kids have plenty of leisure time too, but they also engage in more serious pursuits like the signal fire and hunting.

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