Painted Faces and Long Hair

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Rachel Thomas 10i

Painted Faces and Long Hair

How does this chapter show that the boys are caught between civilisation and savagery, and which does it suggest will be the more attractive to them?

In this book William Golding’s aim was to show what would happen to a group of boys if they were deserted on an island. He thought that the boys would slowly become savage and evil towards each other, and they would not act like they did in the book ‘Coral Island’ by RM Ballantyne. In this chapter we do start to see the boys becoming savage and turning away from civilisation even though many of them don’t want to.

None of the boys has had any meat for all the time they have been on the island.  When they are presented with meat their savage levels seem to rise and they become like animals:

        “Ralph dribbled…He accepted a piece of half-raw

meat and gnawed it like a wolf.”

Even Ralph, who seems the most controlled of the boys shows that he is starting to go savage and is forgetting how he behaved with life with his parents. He even starts acting like he is an animal.

The group that went hunting are playing a ‘game’ around the campfire after having their feast.  The hunters are demonstrating to all the other boys how they killed the pig.  They are using one of the boys to represent the pig in this ‘game’:

        “…the hunters, still circling, pretended to beat him.”

The ‘game’ shows that all the boys are capable of killing animals and even humans, as this reveals their savage side starting to show. The ‘game’ develops into a small ritual which also shows the boys savagery appearing.

The littl’uns are not treated well by the older boys.  As there are no adults on the island the older boys can do whatever they want to the littl’uns and get away with it because there is no adult to keep control. The littl’uns have to get used to being picked on:

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        “Maurice had received chastisement for filling a

younger eye with sand. Now, though there was no

parent to let fall a heavy hand.”

The older boys have been told what to do by their parents for so long they are now doing the opposite because they are free to rebel against the adults they knew in their past. As they are hurting the littl’uns the reader can see that they are becoming evil and savage.

Roger has been following Henry down the beach and thinking about throwing stones at him but, he is still under the influence ...

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