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Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Ralph
Describe an important character and explain why they are important.
An important character in Lord of the Flies by William Golding is
Ralph. Ralph is a strong leader in the book who all the boys respect,
and he is the person who first tries to create an order on the island.
In some ways Ralph's motivation for being a good, powerful leader is
his longing for home. Ralph's relationship with another boy on the
island, Jack is very important also.
From the beginning of the book Ralph takes charge over his newly
acquainted companion Piggy. When he calls the other boys together he
takes control over the entire group and his leadership is acknowledged
by the majority of the boys voting for him as chief. With his power
Ralph makes many important decisions, such as building huts and
starting a signal fire which he thinks is most important. This is
illustrated when he says "There was a shipâ€¦ you said you'd keep the
smoke going". Ralph's leadership is what keeps the order among the
boys on the island.
Ralph's desire for home is what drives him to lead the group of boys
and to keep an orderly society on the island. Creating the signal fire
was Ralph's only way to get home and it is clear he knows this when he
tells Jack "No fire, no smoke, no rescue." This shows Ralph's passion
for their rescue, for his home and for the fire. Ralph's longing for
home is important because it is from this that he bases his decisions
on and it's his decisions that get the boys home. We all have a
craving for love, warmth and home, but it is not until we are without
these that it becomes obvious.
When Ralph finds a conch shell and uses it to call the boys from all
over the island, they come running. The conch is a very powerful tool.
When the boys have settled the conch is used to control the boys and
to create an order on the island. A rule is set out by Ralph using the
conch, "Whoever has the conch has got the right to talk". This shows
the conch's power and Ralph's leaderhsip. Again, Ralph's determination
for an ordered society is driven by his wanting to go home.
Ralph has strong relationships with many of the boys on the island,
but his relationship with Jack is most important of all. Ralph's
relationship with Jack begins like the others, with friendship and
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noticeably different from Ralph's which leads to conflict among the
two boys. Their relationships change towards each other and among
other people on the island as shown when "Jack looked round for
understanding but found only respect. Ralph stood his hands full of
meat, saying nothing." This illustrates the attitudes of the group
towards Jack hunting and killing pigs, and Ralph's attitude towards
Jack. Ralph is ambivalent and cannot say anything because he is
against the hunting and the killing. But Ralph needs Jack for his
hunting, and Jack needs Ralph for his fire. The two boys depend on
Ralph is an important character in the text Lord of the Flies by
William Golding. He leads the group through making decisions, he forms
order on the island and his relationships with other people and his
longing for home help him get there.