Why is the littlun's role of having to depend on the biguns for their daily needs so significant in the novel?I am trying to explain in my thesis statement why the littlun's dependency is so...

Why is the littlun's role of having to depend on the biguns for their daily needs so significant in the novel?

I am trying to explain in my thesis statement why the littlun's dependency is so important in the novel.

Asked on by mariechi31

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The littluns' presence on the island becomes significant in Lord of the Flies because their dependency on the chief forces Ralph into a role of responsibility; this role of leadership puts more stress on Ralph than the other boys.  He probably would prefer to be carefree like Jack, but he feels a responsibility to providing for the littluns' well-being. 

The incident with the fire on the mountain is harsh 'wake up call' for Ralph when one of the littluns, the one with the mulberry birthmark, has disappeared, presumably in the destruction of the out-of-control fire; this tragedy forces Ralph to take a more active role in providing for the littluns' well-being and security.  In the following chapter, "Huts on the Beach," the reader sees Ralph working to build more huts for shelter.  He voices his concern that the littluns are not sleeping well and need more of a "home" environment (52).

Golding uses the presence of the littluns to build tension between the older characters.  Ralph, out of the responsibility and the goodness of his heart, wants to protect and care for the younger boys, but tension builds as he feels that the other older boys, primarily Jack, are not contributing or helping with his cause.  This tension will continue to escalate throughout the novel as Ralph's frustration over responsibility and leadership makes him resent Jack's hunting and carefree ways.

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