The Breakdown of Civilization in Lord of the Flies
Early in the book The Lord of the Flies the children seemed very interested in keeping up their appearance. They were their school uniforms as if classes were going to be held the next day. They worried about bathing and where to urinate and defecate. By chapter 10 most of the children have completely given up. There were boys urinating and defecating anyplace they wanted to, even close to their food sources. Most of the children didn't bother with too many clothes at all. Even though he had become the new leader Jack was on his throne “naked to the waist.” Jack was also covered with clay and he didn't even seem to notice. It covered up his blush when he was embarrassed which is symbolic of him not worrying about anything anymore. The paint the hunters were wearing was really thick blood. This paint represents the savagery and hid the crimes that they had been committing against each other. As they became more and more painted they also became more and more savage.
Piggy's glasses also have a symbolic role in the children falling apart. In the beginning Piggy protected his glasses and he polished them on his shirt whenever he needed time to think or if he was worried. The boys had broken one of his lenses and they were barely holding together. By the end of chapter 10 Piggy's glasses had been stolen by Jack and his hunters. This is symbolic of the last bit of reason being stolen away from their tribe. Piggy's glasses, like Piggy, were symbolic of reason and thinking. In chapter 10 all the boys are in deep denial about how Simon had died. All of the children seemed to think that they were on the outside of the ring that murdered him. None of the children wanted to admit that they knew what happened to Simon and that they, in fact, had killed him with their bare hands. The children just wouldn't “see” what had taken place that night.