Lord of the Flies: Clothing and Nudity in chapter 1 – Analysis…


Date: July 10, 2016

01) Lord of the Flies: Clothing and Nudity in chapter 1 – Analysis

“An in-depth analysis of the significance of clothing and nudity in the first chapter of William Golding’s novel “Lord of the Flies”, arguing closely from the text with many specific citations, and with fair use of copyrighted material from both the 1963 and 1990 movies for illustrating the points made.

A fact that i completely missed when making this video essay is that swimming in the nude in groups wasn’t uncommon for boys and men in many countries until as late as 1970. That clearly explains why Golding, in the 1950ies, could easily use nudity as a symbol in the way he did, why it was already harder to show it that way for Brook in the 1960ies, and why the symbol is _now_ so widely misinterpreted to signify “regression into savagery”, which completely misses the point. Please do read the insightful comment posted by Allen Williams for further clarification and give it a “thumbs up” such that others can more easily find it.

For more information on the history of nude swimming in U.S. schools, see the excellent three-part documentary starting with this video:


The following photo essay relates the history of public swimming in England, with some scattered hints about how attitudes toward nudity changed over time (but it’s not quite as detailed as the above one about the U.S.):


This is quite interesting.


3 thoughts on “Lord of the Flies: Clothing and Nudity in chapter 1 – Analysis…

  1. eqfoundation Post author

    I had no idea there was this much philosophical discussion to be had, about the disparity of nakedness in Lord of the Flies.

    I saw this move a long, long time ago on VHS…wouldn’t mind seeing it again, in a better format.

  2. feinmann0

    I think that the boys in the novel, at least some of them, fictionally hailed from English public schools, which, in the 1950s (and 1960s) meant single-sex boarding school where communal nudity would be the norm for: showering at the start of the day, post-sports activity and dress code at the swimming.baths. My take is that Golding was solely mirroring the totally natural, unabashed public schoolboy behaviour of the day.

    I have not wanted to watch the more recent US version, simply because it cowardly avoids “offending” cinema-goers by excluding the nudity that is a fundamental component of the original story-line.


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