What Does The Mask Symbolize In Lord Of The Flies

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In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of children are stranded on an island without any adult supervision. Ralph uses a conch shell that a boy named Piggy found in order to gather the children together. A freckled boy named Jack, who is the leader of a choir, arrives tardy with his group of singers dressed in black cloaks following him. At this first meeting, they decide to elect Ralph as their leader instead of Jack. Ralph appeases Jack by allowing him to be in charge of the hunters and by sanctioning him to have the responsibility of keeping the signal fire alive. As the story begins to progress, Jack begins to favor his responsibility of hunting over keeping the fire alive, and also begins to change the way he looks and the way…show more content…
He believes that he needs to blend in with the surroundings like a true hunter. He applies a mix of colors to his face in a pattern that he falls in love with. “...The mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness” (64). Jack is beginning to be controlled by what this new environment is making him into. He is starting to lose control over what he does, but is instead under the influence of what he is creating. Jack no longer feels the need to be self-conscious or full of shame because it is not him that is acting out of control, but another thing that is making him do it. Jack is also mostly naked like a true hunter from the Before Christ era. This mask taking over his body is a giant step towards Jack’s id asserting dominance in his head. Jack, after returning with his hunters, gives news to an angry Ralph that he has killed his first pig. Ralph is angry at Jack because he let the fire go out and a ship passed by, but Jack does not understand why Ralph is so frustrated about this.“‘I cut the pig’s throat,’ said Jack, proudly, and yet twitched as he said it” (69). Jack’s twitching signifies that he is still bothered by the fact that he actually killed something that was once living. The fact that Jack is able to kill the pig shows that Jack has changed from the way he acted before. Jack also does not realize the importance of the mistake he has made by letting the fire die. He is so caught up in this moment that he does not care about being saved, but rather he cares about killing instead. This indicates that his civility has begun to degenerate. However, Jack looks at the blood on his hands and is still disgusted by it, showing that he has not completely changed into a different person. Jack continues to morph into a new person as he begins to see hunting as a more important task than anything

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