KOURTNIE MCLAURIN ENGLISH 4 DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY: LORD OF THE FLIES MAIN CHARACTER: RALPH Lord of the Flies is a novel by author William Golding. Lord of the Flies story line is about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results. The setting takes place on an unnamed island, during a nuclear war. The book sets out their descent into brutality, left to them in an exquisite country, far from modern civilization, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state.
Ralph, one of the older boys, is the protagonist of the novel who at first is overjoyed to be on a tropical island free from adult restraints. He is neither the smartest nor the strongest but has a kind of quiet charisma and good looks. He tries to keep the boys focused on trained order and the rules of civilization but loses his authority and almost his life to Jack’s, the antagonist of the story, seizure of power. By nature, he is an innocent, mild- tempered boy who accepts leadership when it is thrown at him. He portrayed as a democratic leader who tries to keep the boys together on the island.
Ralph has courage when the occasion demands it, but he really longs for the secure world of grown-ups, especially when order starts breaking down on the island. He dreams about a rescue and insists the signal fire burn at all times so that they can be seen. There’s conflict. Ralph knows that the main reason for the disorder on the island is Jack, representation of evil in the novel. There is a constant conflict between the two boys. Ralph stands for civilized ideals, while Jack leads a tribe of savages and lapses into primitive rituals. In the midst of the savagery, Ralph holds on to rationality and the hope of rescue.
There is only one occasion when Ralph lapses into mild savagery; it occurs when he joins the ritual dance at the feast, the same feast where Simon is killed. The guilt that Ralph experiences as an outcome of his being a part of Simon’s death is unbearable. It forces him to totally accept the fallen nature of all mankind. Armed with the truth, like Simon before him, he becomes the hunted animal, full of desperation and despair. Only civilization, which appears in the form of the naval officer, can save Ralph from the savagery that surrounds him.