Lord of the Flies

Chapter 7

how is the appearance of the boys deteriorating? What might this represent?

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The boys lose any resemblance to british school boys as the book progresses. Golding even names Chapter 4 "Painted Faces and Long Hair". Certainly the painted faces free the boys from their earlier identities in their old world.In chapter 7, Ralph notes how far his apperance has declined from his old civilized self,

Sitting under what seemed an un- usual heat, even for this island, Ralph planned his toilet. He would like to have a pair of scissors and cut this hair—he flung the mass back—cut this filthy hair right back to half an inch. He would like to have a bath, a proper wallow with soap.

 In a final attempt to appear to civility, Ralph suggests they comb their hair and wash up to somehow remind the boys of who they used to be. This, of course, doesn't work. The boys have become accustomed to the grime and trinkets that define them as savages. They have become the opposite of the "civilized" British school-boy.