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In the darkness, we show our true colors. Behind the walls when no one is watching, we do things we wouldn’t normally do in front of others. This is greatly expressed in Oscar Wilde’s quote that states: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth”. For some of us, it is natural to put on a completely different identity when we are around others. Not showing our real personalities is almost normal for most of us because that is how we’ve adapted and known our whole life. However, once we are alone, our disguises dissolve and we become who we truly are. Behind the mask lay mysteries only you yourself will ever find out and no one else. Many ideas in society and novels include these types of social adaptations, which are more common than most would think.

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This idea of a hidden mask we’re all hiding behind is clearly expressed on pages 63-64 of William Golding’s novel ‘Lord of the Flies’. In these pages, one of our characters, Jack, puts on a mask, marking it as his disguise for the moment. However, something is off about him as he begins to act differently. “He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness”. In this scene, Jack thinks of the mask as a separate being from him, as it becomes otherworldly and shows how one might act unrecognizable with no embarrassment or judgment. This scene also greatly relates to the quote written by Oscar Wilde. Some things to people are only willing to be removed if they feel anonymous in a way, where what happens at that moment doesn’t cease to exist on the record of that person. The quote relates very well to Jack in the scene as he is putting on a mask of his own and feels hidden enough to act out who he truly is and what’s been hiding inside all along.

Everyone around us has a mask of their own they’re hiding behind. No one ever tends to show how they want to act for fear of being judged in some way by others. Like stated before, in the darkness you show your true colors, just like the quote shows us along with the short excerpt from ‘Lord of the Flies’. However, sometimes being hidden behind these masks causes you to become more revealed than without one. This theme or idea is shown throughout society and readings today and will continue to do so because it is something that most likely will always be a part of each and every one of us. No one is ever wanted to be seen as vulnerable or differently than the person they’ve worked so hard to build up.

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Idea of Hidden Mask as Exemplified by Jack from William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’.
(2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

“Idea of Hidden Mask as Exemplified by Jack from William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’.” Edubirdie, 15 Nov. 2023,

Idea of Hidden Mask as Exemplified by Jack from William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. [online].
Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jan. 2024].

Idea of Hidden Mask as Exemplified by Jack from William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ [Internet]. Edubirdie.
2023 Nov 15 [cited 2024 Jan 21].
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