Ralph - Character Analysis - Lord of the Flies

A detailed analysis of the character of 'Ralph' using notes made during some of my English classes and from research. 

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  • Created by: Micah
  • Created on: 18-01-13 23:08
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  • Ralph
    • Personality and character
      • Sensible
        • Comes up with the idea to establish rules, build a fire. Tries to establish 'order.'
          • This shows that he quite wise and can speak well which may have also helped to 'mark him out' as a natural leader.
            • Ralph's sense of 'order' soon begins to fall apart as well when he is unable to think of the agenda for the meeting and is lost in his thoughts.
              • This shows Golding's idea that even the most innocent and sensible of people can begin to fall into disorder when placed in the right situation, showing how every person can fall pray to the faults of humans.
                • This shows that he quite wise and can speak well which may have also helped to 'mark him out' as a natural leader.
                  • Ralph's sense of 'order' soon begins to fall apart as well when he is unable to think of the agenda for the meeting and is lost in his thoughts.
                    • This shows Golding's idea that even the most innocent and sensible of people can begin to fall into disorder when placed in the right situation, showing how every person can fall pray to the faults of humans.
        • Good leadership skills
          • Speaks to Piggy very directly showing he has a developed sense of authority and also knows it is important to keep on good terms with Jack.
          • "There was a stillness about Ralph that marked him out."
            • Speaks to Piggy very directly showing he has a developed sense of authority and also knows it is important to keep on good terms with Jack.
            • Golding uses Ralph to stand for 'democracy.' He is chosen by the people FOR the people.
              • Golding had experience of the Second World War and therefore knew quite a lot about Democracy VS Dictatorship situations. He uses the tribes to show the different types of leadership.
        • Has good moral values
          • He wants the boys to continue to be 'civilised' and he realises that they are falling into disorder.
            • A moral victory is achieved because he has the inner strength and conviction to cast away 'evil' or 'immoral urges' at the end of the novel and this is symbolised by the destruction of the 'Lord of the Flies.'
          • Achieves a  'moral victory' at the end of the novel when he knocks down the 'Lord of the Flies'  and takes the pole it stands on to defend himself.
            • He wants the boys to continue to be 'civilised' and he realises that they are falling into disorder.
              • A moral victory is achieved because he has the inner strength and conviction to cast away 'evil' or 'immoral urges' at the end of the novel and this is symbolised by the destruction of the 'Lord of the Flies.'
          • Speaks in a civilised manner to  the other boys.
            • Even when pleading for the return of Piggy's glasses he appears quite civilised but addresses Jack in a school boy like manner saying: "You aren't playing the game."
              • This shows that Ralph still thinks of the situation as a 'game' which gives a very child-like view of the situation. However, as the novel progresses this innocence and naivety is lost as Ralph realises the capacity within all humans including himself for evil.
        • Brave
          • He is the first to approach the dead man and says: "I'm chief. I'll go. Don't argue."
            • Once again this shows natural leadership and a sense of authority through the directness of his tone.
      • Attractive appearance
        • "You could see he might make a boxer, as far as width and heaviness in the shoulder went, but there was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil."
          • Shows that Ralph may have a 'good nature' or an attractive personality as well. Encourages the reader to 'like' this character.
      • Ralph is the only one to recognise Simon's death as murder.
        • By recognising his role in Simon's death Ralph has gained new knowledge of the acts the boys are capable of and the darker side of human nature.
          • At the end of the novel Ralph is shown to be crying for the 'darkness of a mans heart' which essentially  means he is crying because he now recognises what humans are capable of and that every person possesses the capacity for evil within them.
            • "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man's heart and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy."
              • When he sees the naval officer, Ralph is also discomforted by his appearance, showing that some of his civility has survived the ordeal. However, he has lost the child-like innocence of his pre-island life and has now gained deeper knowledge of the human condition which can never be taken away from him.
                • At the end of the novel Ralph is shown to be crying for the 'darkness of a mans heart' which essentially  means he is crying because he now recognises what humans are capable of and that every person possesses the capacity for evil within them.
                  • "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man's heart and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy."
                    • When he sees the naval officer, Ralph is also discomforted by his appearance, showing that some of his civility has survived the ordeal. However, he has lost the child-like innocence of his pre-island life and has now gained deeper knowledge of the human condition which can never be taken away from him.
        • Ralph is hunted as 'prey' by Jack's tribe
          • Realises he is an outcast - "Cos I had some sense!"
            • By this Golding means that as well as common sense Ralph also has a clearer sense of his identity than the other boys. He may be an outcast but he still clings onto the details of his pre-island self. For example he believes in civilised conduct and the morality that had governed the boys at home.

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