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Lord of the Flies - Character Analysis

Uploaded by Amp4027 on Nov 30, 2005

In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, he uses a group of British schoolboys stranded on a tropical island to illustrate the nature of mankind. Lord of the Flies deals with changes that the boys undergo as they gradually adapt to the isolated freedom from society. The four main characters depict different effects under those circumstances. The ordeals of the four boys on the island makes them more aware of the evil inside themselves and, in some cases, makes the false politeness that was in them disappear. However, the changes experienced by one boy differs from those endured by another. The changes to the physical and mental differences between the boys also vary. Therefore, there are four main components to man’s personality.

Ralph starts as a self-assured boy whose confidence in himself comes from the acceptance of the boys. He has a fair nature and is willing to listen to Piggy. He is increasingly dependent on Piggy's wisdom and becomes lost in the confusion around him. He possesses the leadership qualities of man, but does not have the initiative that is needed when being a leader. For example, when Jack says “You shut up, you fat slug,” Ralph does nothing to stop Jack from downsizing Piggy or from hitting him, Ralph does not have the initiative to protect his friend or punish Jack’s wrongdoing. Also, later in the book Jack gives everyone except Piggy meat and Ralph does not say anything to Jack. Towards the end of the story his rejection from Jack’s society of savage boys forces him to fend for himself. Ralph is the only person who truly acknowledges the importance of being responsible, and he takes over as a leader even though he is not necessarily good at it. This sets him apart from the other savage boys and makes it difficult for him to realize and accept the changes they are undergoing.

Piggy is an educated boy who has grown up as an outcast because of his weight. Due to his academic childhood, he is more mature than the others and retains his civilized behavior. But his experiences on the island give him a more realistic understanding of the cruelty possessed by some people. The wisdom that he possesses is obviously greater than that of most of the other kids at his age. Therefore, he possesses the wisdom and intellectual components of man, but is lacking...

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Uploaded by:   Amp4027

Date:   11/30/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (932 words)

Views:   32880

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