As the boys in Lord of the Flies grow more violent, they begin painting their faces with clay, supposedly so the pigs won’t see them, but in reality to make themselves feel better about their atrocious acts. As the boys grow more savage and less like their normal selves, we see this change manifest itself physically in their appearances. Unsurprisingly, the looks match the insides: the boys are becoming more primitive, so they shed their clothes and decorate themselves with war paint. It’s also important that the paint makes them look very similar to one another; they no longer have names or individual identities of their own. This allows them to shed their civilized selves and become nameless creatures that kill and murder. They feel no need to control themselves, since they no longer have “selves” to control.
Without the masks that Jack and his hunters painted on their faces, Jack would have never attained his position of power on the island.
Ralph combats his fear by dehumanizing the boys in his mind.