What is the significance of the title “Painted Faces and Long Hair” in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is set on a tropical island on which a group of English schoolboys gets stranded after a plane accident. Though Ralph, one of the older boys and a leader, wants to keep a signal fire going, the boys just cannot seem to make that happen. Time is passing and things are beginning to fall apart on the island.

Chapter four of the novel is titled "Painted Faces and Long Hair," and it is a chapter full of change, both literal and symbolic.

When a ship passes by the island and the fire has gone out, the boys begin to feel as if it will be a long time before they will be rescued. The "long hair" part of the chapter title refers to time which has passed. Everyone's hair is getting longer (except Piggy 's), and this is one of the only ways to mark the passing of time, since the boys were all attending boarding school and had short hair when they landed here. Plus, every day on a tropical island is pretty much the same, so it is important to have...

(The entire section contains 547 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team