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William Golding, in his fictional novel Lord of the Flies, has created one of the most stunningly elaborate, captivating works of American literature. It is a straightforward story of a few shipwrecked schoolboys that dramatically turns into a multifaceted tale of endless deceit, trickery and all out jealousy. It is in this story that three boys, Ralph, Piggy, and Jack, come to play the pivotal parts of leaders to a group of children who are fighting for the right of survival.
The first boy is Ralph, a fine example of morals, compassion and friendship. He is the first person on the island to take charge and the one who hold the group together. Ralph was elected the leader as soon as the group first came together. He was recognized as one person who courage to lead them home. On the vote for chief, Ralph said,
“ ‘Who wants me?’ Every hand outside the choir except Piggy’s was raised immediately. Then Piggy, too, raised his hand grudgingly into the air. Ralph counted ‘I’m chief then’ '; (Golding 23).
Ralph is chosen as leader because in the story Lord of the Flies, he symbolizes every good quality necessary to return home. The qualities are leadership, kindness, benevolence, and most of all, friendship.
The second youth is known to the other boys as Piggy. Piggy is not like the other boys, in the fact that his sense of fun and adventure was replaced with that of worrisome and caution. He is a portly child, which brought on the name “Piggy.'; He also suffers from various ailments, such as bad eyesight and asthma. “He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat. He came forward, searching out safe lodgments for his feet, and then looked up through thick spectacles'; (Golding 7). Piggy symbolically represents every problem, every mistake that could be made, that might leave many young boys stranded on an island far out at sea.
The final young man goes by the name of Jack Merridew. Jack is a hotheaded youth with a flair for leadership, and a temper to go along with it. Jack was the boy who wanted the position of chief from the start. In response to Ralph’s election as chief, “Even the choir applauded; and the freckles on Jacks face disappeared under a blush of mortification'; (Golding 23). Jack Merridew, from then on, was different. He detested Ralph and from then on was consumed by hate and jealousy toward everyone that followed the new chief.
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In conclusion, Lord of the Flies is truly a stunning success, in the fact that is able to portray the unique feelings of three separate individuals, and still bring them together to create a realistic model of situations in modern times. Everyday, people are forced to face problems in which all of these feelings are addressed. In William Golding’s sheer brilliance, he split them apart and gave them names. These three people are completely different and capable when apart, but when brought together, can hardly survive.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York, New York: The Putnam Publishing Group, 1954.