Lord of the Flies: Ralph's Anguish

Topics: William Golding, Suffering, Compromise Pages: 4 (1599 words) Published: March 24, 2008
The Lord of the Flies: Ralph’s Anguish
One can not help but wonder which character in the novel, The Lord of the Flies, suffers the most. The author, William Golding, provides the reader with many characters which may lead to a possible solution. However, there is only one character that can fully embody the meaning of suffering, this character is Ralph. Ralph’s suffering can be observed in three incidents from the novel. First, Ralph is forced to give up his childhood in order to take responsibility for the group, as result he is constantly in conflict with his child emotions. Secondly, Ralph’s only friends are either killed or tortured in to submission leaving him alone and with no one to support him. Lastly, Ralph is hunted by Jack’s tribe for attempting to maintain order on the island. In the novel, The Lord of the Flies, the character Ralph suffers the most since he experiences the harsh reality of adulthood.

Firstly, Ralph’s decision to take responsibility of the group compromises his childhood. As he is forced into leadership, Ralph is in constant pressure to act mature and wise. This is observed when Ralph and Jack discuss the group’s present situation on the beach. As Ralph discusses the importance of the fire, Jack constantly brings up the topic of hunting. Ralph is under so much pressure that he explodes and shouts, “I was talking about smoke! Don’t you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!” (Golding 54). This statement shows that Ralph is under acute stress and is suffering from his leadership duties. In addition, there are instances where he wishes that he is a part the group instead of the leader. Such an incident occurs at the first pig feast, Ralph watches the hunters dance around the fire and chant in unison. “Ralph watched them, envious and resentful” (75). As the statement shows, Ralph is in envy of those who do not share his burden of leadership. He also possesses feelings of resentment for those who are free from...
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