What advantages and disadvantages are faced by the boys in their new status removed from parental control?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When the boys discover that they are stranded on an uninhabited island and are free from parental control, some of them are overjoyed at hearing the news.  Ralph is so ecstatic that he stands on his head.  However, as their time on the island progresses, many of the boys realize that the disadvantages far out weigh any advantages gained.


  • Independence--The boys can do whatever pleases them.
  • Fun-- "It's a good island. [...] It's wizard" (34). -- The boys fancy themselves as having a grand adventure like Coral Island.
  • Opportunity for personal growth-- The boys can test their strengths and abilities in the wild.  For example, Jack teaches himself how to track and hunt.


  • Leadership--The boys appoint Ralph as chief, but he struggles to enforce discipline among the boys to ensure that the rules are followed.
  • Security--Without the calming presence of adults on the island, the boys become frightened of the possible beast.
  • Unchecked bullying--Boys like Roger and Jack quickly get out of control.
  • Lawlessness-- This goes along with the lack of leadership and unchecked bullying, but clearly the lack of clearly defined rules and expectations lead to some of the most horrific moments in the novel.