Which of the boys is first to begin to miss haircuts, toothbrushes, clean nails and basic cleanliness in "Lord of the Flies"?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the onset of the book, Ralph is the character who begins to feel distastefully about his unkempt appearance and lack of cleanliness. In Chap. Five, "With a convulsion of the mind, Ralph discovered dirt and decay, understood how much he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes." Ralph understands that as his appearance becomes more uncivilised, so does his behavior and that of the others.

Ralph's feelings about his physical appearance culminate in Chap. Seven, in the second paragraph: "He would like to have a pair of scissors...he would like to have a bath...a toothbrush would come in handy too." Ralph understands that physical cleanliness and an orderly appearance represent a form of civilization that is quickly slipping away from the boys!

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Lord of the Flies

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