How does Golding grab the reader’s attention in "Lord of the Flies"?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Golding grabs the reader's attention at the start of the story by only giving us a little information at first.  He doesn't hit us over the head with all the details of how or why the boys are on the island.  Instead, he starts by describing the actions of Ralph in the vividly described, but unnamed, setting.  Then he inserts Piggy, another unknown quantity, into the scene. The beginning reads like it could be a tropical vacation scene, or a great and fun adventure scene.  It slowly is revealed to the reader then that this is actually the scene of one tragedy that will ultimately lead to more tragedies.  By giving us, the readers, a little information at a time and letting us fill in the blanks ourselves.  By the time we grasp the situation - a plane load of boys having crash landed on a deserted island as they flee a war - we are into the story.  He lets us learn the boys' personalities in much the same way.  He doesn't tell us a lot about the boys, but he describes the boys' actions and gives us their words through their conversations.  We decide for ourselves what kind of person each one is.  Golding doesn't say, "Ralph is the good, but naive, leader of the boys."  We get to know Ralph through what he says and what he does.  The same is true for the other boys.

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Lord of the Flies

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