Lord of the Flies Close Reading Analysis

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Lord of the Flies Close Reading Analysis

        Leading up to the passage, Ralph’s former followers have either abandoned him or been killed.  The rest of the boys are now under the rule of Jack.  To obtain full superiority over all of the boys, Jack feels that he must kill Ralph.  As Jack and the rest of the boys hunt down Ralph, Jack sets fire to the island.  A passing naval ship sees the smoke from the fire and heads toward the island.  Ralph runs out of the jungle and falls on the sand beach, closely followed by Jack and the hunters, and immediately Ralph finds himself at the feet of a naval officer.  Throughout the passage, Golding creates a contrast between the images of the boys and the officer.  The boys are described as savage and wild messes, while the officer is described as orderly and clean.  Despite these different visual images both have the same underlying quality: a violent human nature.

        The author provides detailed visual images of the boys when they are found on the island by the naval officer.  Golding describes Ralph as being “filthy.”  Later, he is compared to a “scarecrow” and is thought by the officer to be in need of a “bath,” “haircut,” “nose-wipe,” and “ointment.”  The other boys are also described in great detail by Golding.  As Jack’s boys come out of the jungle yelling, their screams are described as “ululations.”  As the officer looks more carefully at them, he sees that they are “streaked with colored clay” and have “sharp sticks” in their hands.  This gives the boys the appearance of being savages.  On the other hand, the officer and his ratings are also described specifically, but giving a much different overall impression.  As Ralph looks up from his position in the sand, he sees the officer’s “uniform” with fancy “epaulettes,” “gilt buttons” and “gold foliage” embroidered onto the “anchor” on his “crown.”  The ratings with the officer are also described from Ralph’s point of view.  As they stand next to the boat, they are described as being in orderly fashion when they “hauled up” and “held” the boat.  From this, Golding gives the officer and the rest of his crew the appearance of being civilized because of their orderly state.

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        In the passage the reader is given the feeling that the island is a microcosm of the world.  The island is described to be a place where “war’ and conflict take place when the officer asks what they have been doing.  This is similar to the outside world because it too is experiencing a great world war.  This is shown from the officer’s “cutter,” and his rating’s “sub-machine gun.”  In general, the passage exemplifies that both societies have conflict and, in this case, “war.”  When the officer asks Ralph if there are “adults” with them or any “grownups” on the ...

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