How does William Golding use the littluns to comment on the idea of original sin?  

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The littluns are the smallest boys on the island around the ages of six and up. They have trouble differentiating between good and evil and eventually join Jack's savage tribe. They cannot fend for themselves and look towards others for protection. They also let their irrational fear of the beast control their thoughts and take part in savage acts throughout the novel. William Golding uses these characters to comment on the idea of original sin by portraying their lack of knowledge, fear of the beast, and propensity to follow their carnal desires. Similar to Adam and Eve in the Biblical Garden of Eden, the littluns eat the fruit that they find throughout the island. The concept of original sin begins when Eve is tempted by the serpent to eat the fruit from the "Tree of knowledge of good and evil." Eve succumbs to her desires and eats the fruit. Similar to the Biblical account, the littlun with the mulberry birthmark comments that there is a "snake-thing" which represents the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

The littluns also refuse to help Ralph and Simon build the huts, and are constantly joking around during the meetings. Void of societal restrictions the littluns disrespect Ralph's authority and do nothing but swim and eat all day. Their sole focus is satiating their physical desires. Along with their inherent irrational fear, Golding illustrates that humans are born sinners. The littluns lack the knowledge to understand good and evil which results in their inability to choose correctly between the two tribes. They eventually join Jack's barbaric tribe. This decision represents their flawed nature and symbolizes humanity's original sin.

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Lord of the Flies

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