No Clear Hero in Lord of the Flies

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1142
  • Published : January 4, 2006
Open Document
Text Preview
The idea of a hero is a complicated one and there are several possible interpretations in Lord of the Flies. In action films the hero is usually the 'good guy' even if he (or she) is quite violent. Action heroes are strong and tough and think quickly when there is a problem. In novels the hero can simply be the main character of the story, though usually we feel some sympathy for him or her as well. Sometimes the hero is someone quite unexpected, who manages to do or say things that earn our respect and admiration. In Lord of the Flies there is no clear hero but there are three possible candidates for the description, Jack, Ralph and Simon.

Jack could have been the action hero of the novel. He is strong and tough and usually thinks quickly when there is a problem. When he first appears he is the leader of the choir and he has the ability to keep them under control and make them do as he wants. Later on he becomes the leader of the hunters and is a good example to his followers. Jack is also physically brave and when he, Ralph and Roger went off to hunt the beast "Jack led the way". Unfortunately, Jack is not good at co-operating with Ralph and Piggy and his obsession with hunting leads to the fire going out when a ship is sighted. When the three boys mistake the dead airman for the beast, Jack takes decisive action but does not really face up to the problem. He takes the boys to a part of the island that is safer and tries to buy off the beast by leaving the pig's head as a sort of offering. Jack thus has many qualities required to be a hero but when he is in control he bullies the boys and is partly responsible for the deaths of Simon and Piggy. He is not deliberately evil but his actions often have evil consequences, so Jack cannot really be considered a hero in the novel.

Ralph starts off well in the novel. He is the first person we meet on the island and he becomes leader by popular vote. He does not seem ambitious like Jack and at first...
tracking img