What does the dead parachutist symbolize?

In Lord of the Flies, the dead parachutist symbolizes the adult world and its chronic inability to achieve peace. The boys may have crash-landed on a remote desert island, but even here they cannot escape the belligerence that originally sent them there.

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The boys in Lord of the Flies were originally supposed to be evacuated to relative safety in the face of a nuclear war. But it was while they were being transported that they crash-landed on the remote desert island they now call home. Although the boys may have thought they'd...

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The boys in Lord of the Flies were originally supposed to be evacuated to relative safety in the face of a nuclear war. But it was while they were being transported that they crash-landed on the remote desert island they now call home. Although the boys may have thought they'd escaped the conflicts of the adult world, they couldn't be more wrong. Not only do they behave like belligerent adults in their savage struggle for power, they also come across a dead parachutist dangling from the trees.

Initially, some of the littluns are convinced that the dead parachutist is some kind of "beast," an imagined monster that's supposed to have been lurking around the island. But as Piggy, the voice of reason, knows all too well, the parachutist's body is a sign from the real world, not the realm of the supernatural.

The dead parachutist serves as a symbol for the adult world that the boys mistakenly thought they'd left behind. It acts as a reminder to the boys that they cannot completely escape the adult world and all its troubles. It also shows how difficult the challenge is for Ralph and Piggy to impose a peaceful, democratic order on the island. If even adults can't live together, then how are a group of young schoolboys expected to do so?

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