What is the function of the littluns in Lord of the Flies?

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The littluns (little ones) perform two functions in the novel. First, they symbolize innocence; they are too young to participate in the power struggles that the older boys engage in. They are literally innocent children who merely observe and occasional comment on the action. Like a canary in a coal mine, it is the mulberry-marked face littlun who first sees the "beastie in the dark."

Second, they provide a source of conflict in the novel. Ralph is concerned about protecting the littluns and ensuring their safety, while Jack just wants to increase his tribal numbers so that he can seize power from Ralph.

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