Painted Free

Why is it that when a person’s face is obscured by means of paint or a mask that their disposition changes? Is it the freedom in thinking no one knows who they are? Or the illusion that rules don’t apply anymore? Why do unusually fat men coat their bodies in the paint of their favorite sport team and go scream foul language at the top of their lungs to the other team? Why did the little boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding start to chant about killing the pig, bashing her in, and spilling her blood? Too many questions with too many possible responses, but with one common answer to them all. When no one is watching individuals tend to act however they want.

The little boys in Lord of the Flies after killing a pig start to chant “Kill the beast, bash her in,” and “Spill her blood!”. Why? At first it was just a harmless chant, but once they submerged themselves in their facial paint it became real and threatening. Once they turned into painted savages did the chant take meaning. It seems savage, but think about it, is the real world so much different?

At football games is it not the custom of overweight men to paint their entire bodies with the color of their team and yelling obscenities? They become also rabid in their passion for the game; chanting, doing ‘the wave’, and drinking beer. But would these men do the same thing if they were dressed in oxford style shirts and formal pants? The men don’t act like they do at football games anywhere else! Perhaps the paint they slather onto themselves gives them a feeling of freedom?

The same with Halloween. People act entirely different on Halloween than any other holiday, most likely because of the costumes and masks they wear. It’s no different than paint. Halloween is even most tempestuous because of people having an entire personality change triggered by putting on a costume..

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