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:
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Lord of the Flies published in 2003.
"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)
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.
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.