When Roger throws stones at Henry, what keeps him from hitting Henry? How are Roger and Henry affected by civilization?

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In chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies, Roger begins throwing stones at Henry, one of the "littluns" on the island, who is playing on the sandy shore with his friends. While Roger generally behaves as a bully, his societal conditioning prevents him from actually hitting Henry. Therefore, Roger deliberately aims his throws to land closely to Henry, reflecting his desire to push the boundaries of his conditioning, while continuing to follow the societal laws in which he was raised. Henry continues to unconcernedly play with his fellow littluns, knowing that he is protected by what Golding describes as the "taboo of the old life". This taboo represents the understanding that in the civilized society of Great Britain, in which the boys were raised, needlessly harming another individual is unacceptable and is responded to with consequences and punishment. The invisible ring of protection represents a non-physical and therefore fragile boundary that, over time, Roger chooses to ignore as he begins disregarding his societal conditioning.

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In Chapter 4, Henry is playing on the beach, and Roger begins to throw stones in his proximity. However, Roger is careful not to aim directly at Henry and hit him. Golding describes the six-yard diameter surrounding Henry that protects him and mentions that inside of the invisible circle was a "taboo of the old life." Roger's insistence on not hitting Henry with the stones demonstrates how he has been conditioned by society not to harm others. Roger has not been on the island long enough to distance himself from the rules of society and still believes that it is wrong to hit others with stones. While Roger is throwing stones at Henry, Henry continues to play on the beach and does not worry about being hit. Even Henry has been conditioned by society and takes it for granted that Roger will not aim directly at him. Henry finds it funny that Roger is throwing stones close to him and is not afraid of being hit by them. Both boys demonstrate how society's rules and regulations have affected their behavior.

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