Lord of the Flies Chapter 1: What are the names of the twins?
The two twins are the last boys to come to the meeting before Jack and his troop of choristers arrive in formation. The twins, identical, exert a powerful fascination on both Ralph, who notices them as they arrive at the platform, and the rest of the boys, who are intrigued by their similarity:
The two boys, bullet-headed and with hair like tow, flung themselves down and lay grinning an dpanting at Ralph like dogs. They were twins, and the eye was shocked and incredulous at such cheery duplication. They breathed together, they grinned together, they were chunky and vital.
The twins also allow an opportunity for humour, as the well-meaning Piggy, efficient as always in his attempts to identify and learn the names of all the boys, confuses the two which is greatly appreciated by the rest of the boys. They are called Sam and Eric.
Since Loss of Identity is a major and common theme throughout the novel, it is also important to understand the change in the boys’ names as the novel progresses. Most of the boys go through a loss of identity in that they change from school boys to savages. The twins go through a loss of identity in that they become one person rather than two different boys. At one point, the two names (and two boys) Sam and Eric become one name (and one boy) Samneric. This is a major change in the story that should be recognized when trying to understand these characters and the themes of the novel.