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Lord of the Flies

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Ralph's Epiphany

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At that he walked faster, aware all at once of urgency and the declining sun and a little wind created by his speed that breathed about his face. This wind pressed his grey shirt against his chest so that he noticed, in this new mood of comprehension, how the folds were stiff like cardboard, and unpleasant; noticed too how the frayed edges of his shorts were making an uncomfortable, pink area on the front of his thighs. With a convulsion of the mind, Ralph discovered dirt and decay, understood how much he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes, and at last, when the sun was gone, rolling noisily to rest among dry leaves. At that he began to trot.

Which of the following is the best explanation of the purpose of the quotation above?

A

The passage shows Ralph finally realizing that he is uncomfortable dealing with his worn clothes and dirty hair, representing his sudden awareness that he is unhappy with the status quo of the island and wants to get off and go home.

B

The passage serves primarily to reveal just how much time has elapsed since Ralph and the boys first arrived on the island; the state of his clothes and hair suggest that they have spent months on the island awaiting rescue.

C

The passage begins by pointing out how Ralph's physical appearance has been altered by his time on the island; this is shown in order to demonstrate to readers how Ralph, like his clothes, is becoming worn and dirty as a result of the months away from civilization.

D

The passage indicates that Ralph has, at last, started to see his mind fray just like his shorts. His dirty hair falling into his eyes obscures his vision and represents his inability to remember all the details of his former life.

E

The passage exists principally to show the change in Ralph's mood that is brought about by the approach of nightfall; he becomes more pensive and homesick as the sun dips down and begins to notice all of the unpleasant aspects of his life on the island.