Compare the Relationship Between Ralph and Jack Throughout ‘Lord of the Flies’

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‘Lord of the Flies’ is a novel written by William Golding which follows the story of a group of school boys, the survivors of a plane crash, who find themselves isolated on a desert island, waiting to be rescued.

Ralph is first introduced as “The boy with the fair hair” who looks up to his father. Ralph starts off as a rational character and attempts to maintain his rationality throughout the novel. This sense of rationality is expressed at a point in the beginning of the novel when Ralph says “Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things” and expresses his rational approach to how the boys could be civil and enforce law in order. He is also the finder of the conch which is symbolic of democracy and this is significant as Ralph’s authority is expressed when he is elected to be chief as he is the beholder of the conch-“Him with the conch”.

Jack Merridew is first introduced into the novel when he and his choir approach the other boys “marching approximately in step in two parallel lines”. Physically, Jack “was tall, thin and bony; and his hair was red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled, freckled and ugly without silliness”. Jack is forthright as he likes to get on with things in his interest as well as being quite arrogant. This is evident, at the beginning of the novel, as well as throughout-‘“I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “Because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp”’. By saying this, it is understood that Jack thinks very highly of himself.

When the Jack and Ralph first meet, there is almost an instant divide between the leadership qualities which they both have. Ralph is more of a democratic leader whereas Jack signifies dictatorship. Ralph’s democratical views are expressed when he says ‘Lets have a vote’ and this shows the reader that as a character, Ralph is more civilised. Jack, however, has a more savage approach to life on the island and it is apparent that he has a...
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