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Lord of the Flies is a novel of many, many different moods. Although much of the story is dark and intense, Golding introduces playful, mischievous moods within the story from time to time to break up the tension. One such moment occurs in Chapter Four, "Painted Faces and Long Hair," when the boys play at the bathing pool. Piggy tries to talk Ralph into helping him build a sun dial, and "Ralph turned and smiled involuntarily. Piggy was a bore [...] but there was always a little pleasure to be got out of pulling his leg, even if one did it by accident" (65).
The scene at the bathing pool underscores the boys' youthful and playful natures; they tease each other when one does something silly. When Maurice "did a rather poor dive," Ralph shouts "Belly flop! Belly flop!" (65). The scene at the bathing pool is a tranquil one, made so by Golding's details of the shade and cool green water. The boys' dialogue and entertaining actions creates a brief mischievous and playful mood, which is regrettably short-lived as the majority of the novel intensifies as the boys descend into savagery.
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