What are some examples of decay in the novel, Lord of the Flies?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, several examples of decay are notable.  The first is the argument over keeping the signal fire going and the hunters' wish to keep hunting.  As the hunters are out cruelly killing a pig, cutting off its head and putting it on a stick, the fire goes out just as a ship passes by.  The hunters' cruelty and the missed opportunity for rescue leads to more argument and dissension. Another is when one of Piggy's lenses is broken and because he has been the voice of reason and order, the broken lens is an ominous sign.  Also, Simon, the most innocent of them all, returns to tell the boys that the "beastie" they fear is simply a dead parachutist, and in the frenzy of their dance, the boys kill Simon.  In true evil fashion, when Jack and his hunters steal Piggy's glasses for the power of fire, Roger kills Piggy when Piggy and Ralph try to get the glasses back.  Alone, Ralph flees and when the twins are forced to reveal his location, Jack sets the island on fire to smoke Ralph out to kill him.  The key to the evil is when Simon hallucinates a conversation with the pig's head and hears, "You knew, didn't you?  I'm part of you?"  The evil is within the people on the island and they must be the ones to control it which fails completely. All of these are examples of decay among the boys on the island.

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Lord of the Flies

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