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Lord Of The Flies Mask Analysis

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Masks usually symbolize secrecy or pretenses. However, in Lord of the Flies, it both reveals and conceals the nature of the characters, particularly Jack. The mask provides a favorable edge to Jack’s role as a hunter but at the same time, his hold on civilization is weakening.
The mask conceals Jack’s past identity as ‘Jack the Choir Boy’ and assumes the identity of ‘Jack the Hunter’. The author used the phrase “liberated from” (p.70) which may imply that the limitations, “shame and self-consciousness” (p.70), were still present in Jack before he put the mask on. With the constraints gone, Jack has more room to fulfill his duties as a hunter.
Jack makes a big point about being a hunter and “no one doubted that” (p.93). In the beginning of
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The author, William Golding, said, “Man produces evil as a bee produces honey” (The Hot Gates, 1966). In the book, an indication was the colors used for Jack’s mask. The colors white, red and black are usually attributed to violence, evil, and terror. Indeed, it was evident as shown by the effect the mask had on Jack, who became a “bloodthirsty snarling” (p.70). Jack, with the other hunters, was able to kill the pig through the mask which “compelled them” (p.70). Jack reveled in the kill. The author used positive sounding phrases to convey this; Jack was “charitable in his happiness” (p.77), as shown when he “hailed Ralph excitedly” (p.76) upon killing the pig. The “compulsion to… kill that was swallowing him up” (p.55) was finally acted upon. The mask gave Jack the benefit of anonymity. Since there wasn’t a face to blame or reprimand, it gave Jack the perfect excuse to act in his hedonistic interests as a hunter. Jack grabbed this opportunity earnestly as he even “planned his own face” (p.69). His mask was such an “awesome stranger” (p.70) that it “appalled them [the hunters]” (p.70). To incite such a strong reaction shows Jack’s commitment and increasing attachment to his identity as a
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