Lord of the Flies


William Golding

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Adults Symbol Analysis

Adults Symbol Icon
Adults symbolize civilization and social order to the boys. But to the reader, the world war raging outside the island makes it clear that the adult "civilization" is as savage as the boys' "civilization" on the island.

Adults Quotes in Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies quotes below all refer to the symbol of Adults. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Human Nature Theme Icon
Chapter 1 Quotes
"Aren't there any grownups at all?"
"I don't think so."
The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy.
"No grownups!"
Related Characters: Ralph (speaker), Piggy (speaker)
Related Symbols: Adults
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes
Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed, and threw it at Henry — threw it to miss. The stone, that token of preposterous time, bounded five yards to Henry's right and fell in the water. Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.
Related Characters: Roger, Henry
Related Symbols: Adults
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes
His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
Related Characters: Ralph, Piggy
Related Symbols: The Island, Fire, Adults
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
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Adults Symbol Timeline in Lord of the Flies

The timeline below shows where the symbol Adults appears in Lord of the Flies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Human Nature Theme Icon
...were in was shot down and crash landed on an island, and that all the adults on the plane were killed. They wonder if any of the other schoolboys on the... (full context)
Civilization Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
The boys keep exploring. Ralph finds a perfect swimming hole and says his father, who's in the Navy, will come rescue them. But Piggy is fairly certain that no... (full context)
Chapter 2
Civilization Theme Icon
Ralph says that without adults, they'll have to take care of themselves. He makes a rule that whoever holds the... (full context)
Chapter 5
Civilization Theme Icon
The three boys wish adults were around to make everything better. Ralph wishes the adults would at least send them... (full context)