In Lord of the Flies, why is the passage where Roger throws stones in the direction of the littleuns so important?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roger is probably the most evil of the boys on the island.  He has very little conscience to bother him.  Even when he is throwing stones at Henry in this passage and missing him, Roger isn't missing him so much because he wants to miss him but because he has been conditioned to miss him.  The passage is important for a couple reasons. First, the passage is Golding's way of telling the reader that mankind keeps his beast inside because he has been conditioned to by the society in which he lives.  Golding doesn't think that people necessarily make a conscious choice to be good, but they are good because of the rules they learn as they live in society. The other reason is to show what kind of character Roger is. He quickly loses that old societal hold on him that makes him miss Henry with the stones.  By chapter 11, he is the one who ruthlessly pushes the boulder onto Piggy, killing him.  The passage in chapter 4 shows us what Roger is capable of and gives the reader a hint as to what is to come.

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Lord of the Flies

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