Lord Of The Flies By Golding Essay

, Research Paper

In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies the boys on the island

go through many changes over the course of the book. This is true of the

main character, Ralph. Even within the first four chapters, Ralph

experiences drastic mental transformations.

Ralph’s mental changes are gradual but clear. In the very beginning

of the book, Ralph is very happy about his removal from the civilized

world. When Piggy states to Ralph that there are no adults on the island,

Ralph is so overjoyed that he proceeds to do a headstand in the middle of

the jungle. Ralph also removes all of his clothing at this realization.

This demonstrates that Ralph is consciously removing himself form the

aspects of civilized society, in this case clothes. Toward the end of the

first chapter, however, Ralph does begin to appreciate ideas normally

associated with organized society. He develops the idea that some form of

government must be formed on the island. He takes this as far as to become

the boys’ chief himself.

By the book’s second chapter Ralph is becoming even more civilized in

nature. One of the first acts that Ralph does as leader is to establish

certain rules. One of these rules is the one that states that who ever

holds the Ralph’s conch shell is aloud to speak without being interrupted,

except by Ralph. This shows that Ralph is beginning to understand that

representative government does have its advantages, because it allows for

the good ideas of many to be heard. Ralph is also further changed into a

figure of authority when he attempts to logically assure the other boys

that there is no beast on the island.

By the third chapter Ralph is effectively established as a true

government leader. Ralph is the one who starts the building of the

shelters, and is the only one , besides Simon, who sees the project through

to its end. This demonstrates that Ralph has come to realize that being on

the island alone, without adults, is not all fun and games. In fact it

requires an extensive amount of hard work to survive.

The fourth chapter pictures a Ralph almost totally different from the

carefree fun loving boy depicted at the book’s beginning. He is now

totally aware of the importance of rescue from the island, when in the

beginning he was happy to get away from civilization. It is for this

reason that Ralph becomes so angered at Jack when Jack ruins there first

possibility of escape from the island.

Obviously Ralph has undergone an intellectual metamorphosis in the

novel. His initial childlike attitude of being stranded has virtually

disappeared by the end of the fourth chapter.


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