Ralph And Jack In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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Golding begins the novel by establishing the differences between his protagonists, Ralph and Jack, through presenting their appearances and how they are described. Ralph is a ‘boy with fair hair’ who ‘might make a boxer’ whereas Jack is ‘tall, thin and bony’ and his ‘hair [is] red’. By using the adjective ‘fair’ to describe Ralph’s hair, we are immediately told that his hair is light-coloured which symbolises innocence and gentleness thus giving the reader a positive impression on Ralph’s personality. In a different context the word ‘fair’ can also mean equality so perhaps Golding is suggesting that Ralph is democratic and therefore willing to listen and act upon others’ ideas in the same way an instructor would. This is reinforced when Golding…show more content…
Neither Ralph nor Jack cares for Piggy in the beginning; however Ralph is undoubtedly more tolerant of him than Jack. Although Jack sees himself as a worthy leader, this is evidently untrue in the eyes of the reader as he constantly bullies Piggy by calling him ‘fatty’ and shouting ‘shut up’ whenever he speaks making Piggy feel threatened. These two terms are considered rude and offensive especially in the judgments of a child so it shows that Ralph is capable of using force to harm others, in particular those who are weaker than him. Looking more closely, perhaps Golding is suggesting that Jack is prepared to go to any extreme to get what he wants which could be power and authority over the boys. The way Piggy is treated is summarised when Jack says ‘We don’t want you’ meaning that he is unwanted and an outcast from the rest. Golding uses the personal pronoun ‘we’ to suggest that Jack has already started to establish a hierarchy positon because he is beginning to make decisions on behalf of the whole group without asking the chief or any other boy. At this point, Ralph is the chief thus Golding hints that Jack is slowly biding his time to claim the position as head. Similarly, Ralph is also involved in laughing at Piggy occasionally which shows that he is still a young boy and therefore capable of hurting others but it is worth noticing that Ralph has a lot more consideration for Piggy and the other boys than Jack does. When Piggy asks Ralph why he told everyone that he’s called ‘Piggy’, Ralph expresses genuine remorse and even goes to the extent of saying ‘I’m sorry’. The fact that he’s apologising suggests that Ralph can identify his mistakes and rectify them – something which Jack cannot do. Unlike Jack, Ralph, who represents the ego, is thoughtful and understanding, being generous to Piggy,
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