Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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How is loss of innocence depicted throughout Lord of the Flies?

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There are several important scenes that depict the boys' loss of innocence throughout the novel Lord of the Flies. Each character loses their innocence or falls victim to those who have descended deep into savagery. Jack, the novel's main antagonist, begins the novel as the leading choir boy who seems to have a bit of an attitude problem. As the novel progresses, Jack's awareness of complete liberty and lack of consequences begin to affect his character. At first, he cannot bring himself to kill a pig that is stuck in the forest, but finally works up the courage and kills one during the subsequent hunting expedition. His first experience killing a pig is the moment he loses his innocence. He quickly becomes preoccupied with hunting and begins wearing face paint to mask his appearance. This face paint gives him the freedom act like a complete savage, and he becomes a brutal tyrant by the end of the novel.

Maurice and Roger are two characters who begin the novel as helpful, funny individuals. Golding depicts their innocence in a scene when they are walking along the beach and spot the littluns building sandcastles. Although Maurice knocks their castles over, he feels bad about it and even makes an excuse up for his actions in his head. Roger begins to throw stones towards Henry but shows discretion by not aiming directly at him. As the novel progresses, both boys lose their innocence and follow Jack's band of savages. Maurice becomes one of Jack's main supporters and even accompanies him while they raid Ralph's camp. Roger becomes a sadist and kills Piggy towards the end of the novel.

Ralph, the morally upright and civil leader throughout the novel, loses his innocence when he experiences the thrill of hunting. Later on in the novel, he takes part in the brutal murder of Simon. Piggy, Ralph's biggest supporter and the most intelligent boy on the island, even loses his innocence by participating in the slaughter of Simon. Simon falls victim to the prevalent savagery on the island. By the end of the novel, all the boys on the island try to kill Ralph. These actions are in stark contrast to the beginning of the story when they elect him as their leader. The fact they are hunting their ex-leader like an animal depicts their loss of innocence. By the end of the novel, Percival cannot even remember his name and Ralph weeps for the loss of humanity on the island.

 

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