Lord of the Flies Character Analysis - Ralph

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William Golding’s literary masterpiece, Lord of the Flies, is closely examined by experts and amateurs for its powerful characters, themes, and plot. Golding’s characters evolve and mature throughout the novel, each losing a part of himself as the story progresses. After all, as one trades innocence and naiveté for maturity and understanding, his systems of beliefs and his thoughts must change. These changes are often a result of being removed from a familiar environment, in which case the individual is forced to adapt quickly to a new one. Throughout Golding’s insightful novel, the protagonist, Ralph, develops from an immature child with romantic ideals to a boy whose experiences have brought him maturity and wisdom beyond his years. The course of his friendship with Piggy, the thought of rescue, and the responsibility of assuming a leadership role cause Ralph to mature quickly, and ultimately forces his thoughts and beliefs to become similar to those of an adult: brutally realistic and weary of potential dangers.

The intelligent boy called Piggy is Ralph’s first companion on the island, and the development of their relationship from acquaintance to true friendship mirrors the growth in Ralph’s maturity level. Ralph proves to be quite inconsiderate at the start of the novel: against Piggy’s wishes, he tells the other boys Piggy’s unfortunate nickname, and when Jack forcibly takes Piggy’s glasses to star the fire, Ralph shoves him aside. Ralph is childish because he cannot stand up for those who are weaker than he is, even when he knows it is the right thing to do. Although he is relatively kind to Piggy, he thinks “Piggy [is] a bore; his fat, his ass-mar, and his matter-of-fact ideas were dull (Golding 59).” This description shows his immaturity and showcases the fact that Ralph has yet to learn some important lessons: to look past appearances, to appreciate one’s intelligence, and to understand that dull ideas are not necessarily bad ones. Ralph quickly...
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