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In life everyone has a mask, a part of them that they hide from the rest of the world. Whether it be the secrets they have, or the face they put on, whatever they do to hide the truth. In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, many of the boys hide behind their own mask. Jack, one of the main characters of the novel, had a mask that hid all of his weaknesses and he used it to gain more power.
His mask was physical and emotional, he painted on his face to hide the ugly and in a way he created a monster. After Jack realized the person he could become with this mask he began to act more and more like a savage as the novel continues. Along with Jack, there were other boys who hid behind their masks in more of an emotional way, it was in many ways used to hide how the boys truly felt.
Throughout the novel many characters hid behind their own mask. One boy was able to slowly come out from behind his while another was trapped with his own truth because his fate ended too soon. Piggy used his mask for the sake of his safety. He knew if he was near Jack when something went wrong, he would have to suffer the consequences. He was always too afraid to express his ideas because he did not want them to be rejected by the rest of the group. Piggy put up his mask and tried to keep his thoughts to himself for the fear of embarrassment.
He kept all this bottled up until the day Jack left the group, after this Piggy was finally able to slowly open up because he did not have to be afraid of suffering the consequence due to a bad idea. On the other hand Simon was not so lucky to be able to come out from behind his mask. He was arguably the most quiet and secretive of all the boys on the island. He knew answers that the other boys could not quite comprehend themselves. Throughout the novel the boys came up with the idea that there were horrible monsters on the island when Simon knew it was just themselves all along. He never told the other boys about this truth, and died before he had the chance to speak up about it. The masks these boys hid behind portrayed a different image of themselves and in many ways created a whole new person as a way of protection.
When it comes to masks and hiding one’s identity, self image plays a very large role. By using a mask someone can easily hide their true feelings and sometimes this begins to cloud who the person truly is. It begins to reflect personalities, habits, and emotions in a very different perspective. In the novel Ralph puts on his mask as leader, with this mask he had to become a much stronger and braver boy because he needed to keep his head high or the littluns would then begin to have more fear of life on the island. He needed to grow up very fast because he was supposed to be in charge of keeping the boys safe on the island. After living on the island Ralph lost his sense of innocence and that’s something that cannot just be given back. He had to put on his grownup mask and take charge of the difficult situation they were living in. Between all of the boys they truly put on a mask for the sake of survival.
In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding put in the aspects of masks in many different ways. He had masks to cover fear, insecurities, secrets, and innocence. As these masks took over the boys more and more it created much separation. Through this separation also came freedom, the freedom to speak willingly instead of being shutout. In many ways the boys lost much of their own sanity and personality to the masks. Between Jack, Piggy, Simon, and Ralph you can really tell throughout the novel that they lose many parts of themselves. This goes to show that in life people are not always who they perceive to be and sometimes it is truly only to hide their own insecurities.
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