Ralph´S Metamorphosis In The Lord Of The Flies

1114 words - 5 pages

The novel, Lord of the Flies, is a compelling story displaying the metamorphosis of an individual when faced with external and internal conflicts. Ralph is the first character to be introduced in the book. He is the most likeable as he is charming, athletic, and displays strong leadership qualities. However, as the novel progresses, Ralph loses his sense of civilization and undergoes a change in character discovering the evil man is capable of. Ralph’s metamorphosis is captivating and displays the inevitable loss of innocence.

To start off, Golding displays Ralph’s character development with a deeper meaning connecting Ralph with Adam in Garden of Eden. In the beginning of the book, Ralph takes his clothes off and goes swimming. The author describes, “He…stood there naked” (10). “Ralph danced out in the hot air” (11). Like Ralph, Adam is also playful and innocent. Ralph and Adam both come with main objectives. Ralph’s is to remain civilized, and Adam’s is to never eat the fruit from the tree. However, when faced with conflict Ralph ends up taking part in the murder of Simon and the savagery within him grows. Similar of that to Adam when he takes some of the fruit off the tree, he looses his clothes (innocence) and God drove Adam out of the Garden of Eden. Ralph discovers the “darkness of man’s heart” (202), and then ends up getting rescued. Golding based Ralph on the Garden of Eden to show the inevitable loss of innocence through the gaining of knowledge.

In the novel, Ralph deserts civilization. At first, Ralph uses the conch to establish civilization and a form of democracy on the island. In the beginning of the novel, Ralph declares, “Whoever has the conch gets to speak” (16). The conch was used as a tool to retain order on the island and for everyone to have a say. As time progresses on the island and the tension between the boys builds, the conch is not as valued and respected as compared to when the boys first came onto the island. During a meeting discussing the beast, the boys pass the conch from one to another to speak. Ralph is running the meeting, and Jack chimes in that the conch is not needed. However, Ralph argues, “ You haven’t got the conch,” “Sit down” (102). Following his displeasure at Jack’s point he tells the boys, “Hasn’t anyone got any sense?... don’t any of you want to be rescued”(102)? The reader sees the start of abandoning civilization among the boys, although Ralph still believes in the conch. Therefore Ralph believing in the conch shows that he is still civilized. It is not until the very end of the novel where Ralph goes down hill with the rest of the boys when the conch is broken. Mass chaos erupts on the island as Jack and his crew chase Ralph with the island burning in flames. When the boys are rescued Ralph acknowledges the fall through of civilization. The officer mentions that they should have put up a better fight. In response, Ralph argues, “It was like that at first… before things-”(202). The conch...

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