In Lord of the Flies, in what ways are the boys blinded to what is happening on the island?

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ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boys in the book Lord of the Flies are a bit blind to what is happening on the island, but you have to cut them some slack.  They are, after all, really just boys.  The majority are elementary school students, and the older boys don't seem to be beyond their middle school years.  If they are "blind" to what is going on around the island that is probably a big part of the reason why.

Here are some ways in which the boys seem to be "blinded" to what is going on around the island:

  • The Beast.   Though the older boys recognize that there is no real beast, Ralph, Piggy, and Simon don't seem to recognize how powerful the force of fear is amongst the little ones, and how that fear could be used against them (as Jack eventually does.)
  • The Hunters.  The boys have little understanding of how the ecosystem of the island works. An island that size can support only so many pigs, yet the hunters go after them voraciously, killing the mother pig (which should have been kept alive to allow for more pigs to be born.)  At the rate they hunt, it will not take long to wipe out the animals on the island.
  • Sustainability of life on the island. Aside from Ralph and Piggy, the majority of the kids don't seem that concerned with getting off the island. They are unable to see the disadvantages of the island over the long term (no doctors, no girls, no skilled laborers, no girls, no idea how to grow crops, no girls.)  Toward the end of the book, some of them actually seem to like being marooned on the island.
  • Inexperience.  As I said before, they are blinded by the fact that they are young and inexperienced.
  • Distance.  Distance from civilization and their parents has blinded them from their value systems.  They are, increasingly over time, blind to the fact that human beings ought not behave in the way that most of them are behaving and that, if rescued, they will be held accountable for their actions.
  • Fire.  This one is the ultimate blindness as far as I am concerned.  Jack and his cronies end up setting the whole island on fire to drive Ralph out of hiding, in their zeal completely blinded to the fact that they are destroying the life sustaining capabilities of the island they depend on.

I hope these give you some ideas of your own!  Good luck!

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Lord of the Flies

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