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Does Ralph have a last name in Lord of the Flies? And if so, can someone please tell me...

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shortone | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2008 at 10:59 AM via web

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Does Ralph have a last name in Lord of the Flies? And if so, can someone please tell me what it is?

Im doing a project for my senior English class, and I needed/wanted to know if Ralph had a last name in the book.

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 24, 2008 at 11:55 PM (Answer #1)

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Readers learn the last names of some of the boys, but we never learn Ralph's, so the answer would be no.

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 5, 2015 at 4:57 PM (Answer #2)

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In his novel about a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island, Lord of the Flies, William Golding does not provide one of his main characters, Ralph, with a last name.  From his initial introduction in Chapter One, the boy who will quickly emerge as one of the leaders is identified only by his first name, Ralph. Unlike Piggy, the fat kid with glasses who will represent vulnerability more than the others, Ralph represents the thin line the boys begin to walk between civilization and savagery.  The starkness of the contrast between these two boys is exemplified in another early scene in which Ralph and Piggy first discover the conch shell that will come to play a major role in Golding's story.  Piggy, nervous and excited about the finding, attempts to caution the more adventurous Ralph:

“Careful! You’ll break it—”
“Shut up.”
Ralph spoke absently. The shell was interesting and pretty and a worthy
plaything; but the vivid phantoms of his day-dream still interposed
between him and Piggy, who in this context was an irrelevance.

Ralph will continue to represent authority tinged with sadism, but, as the novel's central conflict -- other than the struggle to survive the elements -- between himself and Jack develops, he comes to represent the humanity and responsibility that contrasts with Jack's depravity.

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