Lord Of The Flies Face Paint Analysis

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Lord of the Flies, a literature piece by William Golding, takes place on an abandoned island where English boys are left to fend for themselves after a plane crash. The symbol of face paint is present throughout the novel, representing how people assume different personalities by hiding their insecurities. In the beginning of Lord of the Flies, the concealment of the face paint represents how Jack disguises his insecurities. He discovers the concept of face paint after trying to come up with ideas to improve his hunting abilities. Soon after putting it on, Jack “looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger”(Golding 63). The use of the words “awesome” and “astonishment” by Golding imply something positive, which leads…show more content…
After getting into an argument with Ralph, Jack decides to split up and forms his own group. He was chief and sat, “naked to the waist, his face blocked out in white and red. The newly beaten and untied Wilfred was sniffling noisily in the background” (Golding 160). Due to the face paint, Jack now has the authority to beat Wilfred without anyone questioning his reasoning. The face paint makes it impossible for anyone to read Jack’s feelings because it “blocks” out his facial expressions. Jack now dresses like a savage and is naked to the waist, contrasting from when the boys first arrived onto the island. The face paint gives him the freedom to do so by blocking out his face from others. With that confidence Jack has the opportunity to do things he wasn’t able to do previously. He hits Wilson because he is now free of insecurities and is now able to do things without the others judging him. The face paint gives him this authority over others, which in turn, changes him as an individual. Near the end of the novel, the face paint’s liberation into savagery symbolizes how easy it is for a person to change. When Ralph’s group decides to attack Jack’s base, Eric suggests that they paint their faces. The boys choose not to because, “they understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought” (Golding 172). The
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