Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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"A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all. 'Fun and games,' said the officer." Analyze this important quotation at the end of William Golding's Lord of the Flies in relation to the major themes and symbols within the book.

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Toward the end of Lord of the Flies, William Golding writes that:

A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all. “Fun and games,” said the officer.

This conveys several of the major themes in the book, particularly the growing movement of the boys away from their civilized backgrounds into a world characterized by savagery and chaos. With this quotation, the author very clearly draws a picture of the boys as savages. The officer sees their bodies, so the implication is that they are scantily clad. By comparison, if they were back in England, they would be dressed in school uniforms during the school week and less formal but respectable attire in their free time.

Their bodies are streaked with colored clay, which calls to mind war paint, as well as tumbling around in the dirt and not bathing regularly. The reader knows that the boys have access to the beach and the lagoon that they use...

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