Lord of the Flies - Character Analysis

A colourful but detailed analysis of the key characters in William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

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  • Created by: Bradley
  • Created on: 07-05-10 12:15
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William Golding
He was born in 1911.
He was a lieutenant in the navy during World War 2.
He was appalled when he found out the conditions that prisoners of war
faced in captivity.
He realised that if humans were in a certain situation, everyone is
capable of evil, savage acts.
Significance of Coral Island
Most imaginary desert islands are peaceful paradises where the
shipwrecked traveller manages to continue living pretty much as before.
As Golding was a teacher, through experience he began to understand
that the relaxing, peaceful life that these stories portray would never
be possible due to the flaws in human instincts.
Character Summary
Brave: He led the search for the beast at the fort alone: "I'm chief. I'll
go. Don't argue." It is Ralph who approaches the dead airman at the top
of the mountain, with leaden steps, while Jack and Roger stay back.
A Born Leader: He knows that it's important to keep Jack on his side
and speaks to Piggy with the directness of genuine leadership. Later on
he feels the weight of being chief as a personal hell but he doesn't
give up.
Sensible: It was Ralph's idea to have a chief, establish rules and build
a signal fire so they can be rescued. He speaks wisely.
Well Brought Up: He uses civilised language. Even when he is pleading
with Jack for the return of Piggy's glasses, he speaks like a school boy:
"You aren't playing the game".

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Ugly: He has red hair and is tall, thin and bony. "His face was crumpled
and freckled, and ugly without silliness". His fiery hair and his ugly
appearance give us clues to his fiery, ugly character.
Power Hungry: When we first meet him he bosses the choir around
later he undermines Ralph's leadership and sets up his own tribe against
Ralph, even though he loses a vote. He gradually becomes a dictator.…read more

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Mature: He has the most mature attitude of any boy on the island. He
scornfully sees the other boys "Acting like a crowd of kids".
Clever: Piggy often advises Ralph with solutions to problems and
assists him when he has trouble thinking. He also realises that they
should take note of everyone on and the island and he makes the boys
aware that carelessness causes death, as the fire which spiralled out
of control killed the boy with the birthmark.…read more


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