Passage Commentary: Lord of the Flies, Pages 109-111
In this passage from Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the reader gets deep insight into Ralph’s mind and how the boys are adapting to life on the island. Occurring around the middle of the novel, this passage dives into the thoughts of Ralph to see what he is really feeling about being stranded. It shows how the other boys are coping, and it demonstrates the two different sides of the island; the reader now sees the dangerous, wild side representing the savagery of the boys, and the safe, light side representing their innocence. When the reader looks at the passage with an inquisitive eye, one will see that Golding’s choice in tone and content gives the passage many levels of meaning and proves to add depth to what may appear to be simple words. In the first part of the passage, the reader takes a look at Ralph’s newfound obsession over his hygiene. The passage starts with Ralph and his awareness of the heat. Golding uses words such as “distastefully,” “unusual” and “grey.” This negative diction used by the author shows one that Ralph is currently appalled by the physical state of the boys, himself included. These words not only add to the emotion of the paragraph but represent the time passed on the island. As Ralph moves on to talk about his unkempt hair and dirtiness, the thought of all the ways to solve these problems fly across his mind. Immediately we see a change in tone of the passage. The reader sees how the tone of the passage changes from using negative words such as “filthy” to positive diction using words such as “a proper wallow with soap.” The change of tone is not only a sign of positive thoughts, it demonstrates the meaning behind the thoughts. The thoughts of being able to bath and cut your hair properly would signify the return to civilization and getting home is a thought constantly on the mind of Ralph’s character specifically. Ralph’s memory of a civilized world and what it...
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