All things truly wicked start from an innocence; the innocence of children, the innocence of the hopeful and the innocence of the naive. Comparing the two main characters from Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Jack and Ralph, we try to understand the true sense of Ralph’s innocence which was stifled on the island, and the innocence within Jack which had been lost way before his arrival on the island.
Golding introduces the truly innocent character of Ralph as the story begins and the young boy is elected to lead the boys under him to a good life on the island and a hopeful rescue in the near future. His careless and idealistic attitude projects the true innocence of a child as children see most things around them ideally, being oblivious and overlooking the negatives. Ralph’s innocence is intact and pure as he leads the boys confidently and idealistically for some time. The character of Jack however projects a previous loss of innocence when we meet him on the island, as we witness his offensive remarks, and though we see no wickedness yet, it is soon to come. It is obvious that the once innocent Jack had an experience which made him see the world in a more negative point of view than intended and through the novel; this presumption disappears as we see exactly how his innocence is destroyed.
Humans lose their innocence as they grow older, as they witness new things, as the boys witnessed on the island, which changed their point of view on the world and human society forever. Ralph turned to his power as chief on the island to keep himself innocent and sane, which managed to work for a while, but his innocence was still being taken away little by little. As he witnesses Jack hunt and as he comes to the understanding of what the piece of meat is in front of him his innocence begins to wither away, as does Jack’s. At Jack’s first chance to kill a pig he is resistant and unable to do it as he is still innocent in some...
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