Comparing Ralph and Jack to Show How the Characters Change in Lord of the Flies
Golding uses many techniques to change his characters as they progress
throughout the novel. The main character Ralph is a prime example of
this developing character.
Both of the boys arrive on the island with a certain manner. They are
sensible and being from well brought up families and homes, soon start
to work together in harmony on the island.
The first time we encounter Ralph is at the beginning of the novel
where he is described as "The boy with fair hairâ€¦[He had] taken off
his school sweater...[His] grey shirt tuck to his back and his hair
was plastered to his forehead." The fact he has fair hair and also the
quote "built like a boxer" suggest he could be a heroic figure. This
emphasised by Golding when he clearly shows Ralph to be from a public
school as he "has taken off his school sweater."
We can see that Ralph is still clearly a child at this point in the
novel, he "stands on his head" and uses juvenile language such as
"Whacko" and "Wizard"
When the voice of piggy shouts out, he stops and waits. This shows us
an insight that he is willing to wait for this unknown person, but he
"jerks up his stockings" Golding uses this to show us that he is
Later on in the chapter we see Ralph being "offhand" and "obviously
uninterested" towardsPiggy. We feel sympathetic to Piggy as he is seen
as an outcast from the very beginning.
We can see that Piggy is knowledgeable as he spots the conch, and
knows what it is. Although Piggy found it, Ralph is the person who
swims down to the bottom of the lagoon and collects it from the reeds,
showing us that he is clearly strong and fit, as he can swim.
The conch symbolises power, leadership and civilisation. Ralph is the
first person to blow the conch"a low harsh note boomed under the
palms." This simple act has transformed him from a schoolboy into a
To start with Ralph is a strong confident chief, throughout the first
couple of chapters we see him making quick decisive decisions such as
"We will build the fire here. Fire means survival. We will keep the
fire burning all day and night. We must." The use of these short
sentences shows us that this is a quick, assured order.
In the later chapters Ralph has started to get fed up with the once
"paradise" of the island. When the only food that they can eat gives
them terrible stomach problems, they are watching the moral and
comfort of life decline.
As the novel continues, Ralph begins to be questioned about his
leadership. This makes Ralph nervous and unsure and he tries to keep
civilisation by retaking command. "I'm chief. We wont have the fire
anywhere but on the mountain. Ever." In this assembly fully realises
the threat of Ralph's rival, Jack.
Jack stats off as a friend and a supporter of Ralph and his ideas, "I
agree with Ralph. We've got to have rules and obey them. After all