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How is Ralph important to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and what does he...

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bowser123 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM via web

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How is Ralph important to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and what does he represent?

I lost all my notes on lord of the flies as my book was misplaced, i studied it awhile back and any help would be greatly appreciated thank you :)

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 8, 2012 at 12:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Ralph is a key figure in William Golding's Lord of the Flies for multiple reasons:

  • He is the protagonist of the novel.  Although the novel is written in third-person omniscient, much of the novel is seen from his perspective. 
  • Ralph is one of the 'older' boys.  He looks out for the littluns and tries to protect them.
  • He is elected chief by the boys and uses the conch in meetings to maintain order.
  • Ralph represents good in the novel. He tries to maintain 'civilization' in the camp, creating rules about shelter, keeping the fire lit, and where to use the restroom on the beach.  In a Freudian analysis of the novel, Ralph represents the ego, creating the fine balance between the raw, naturalistic id (Jack) and the superego (Piggy) which values moderation and rules. 
  • Ralph stands up to Jack and his hunters after they let the fire go out on the mountain.  Ralph eventually becomes 'Public Enemy #1' and is chased by the hunters through the burning forest.
  • Ralph collapses on the beach after being chased, and he is the first one to see man from the ship.

Sources:

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amnelson8 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM (Answer #2)

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Ralph to me is the protaganist of the story. He is all that is good and tries to keep order and peace among the boys throughout the book. The antagonist is jack and Ralph is all that stands between him and leading the group into total savagery. As the book goes on ralph continues to emphasize that they need to do all that they can to be rescued and to keep the boys as civilized as possible. He establishes rules and laws to help. Eventually fear of the islands unkown and the tension between jack and ralph leads to a division of the group. JAcks group gives into the savageryof the island while jack and his group do what they can to stay humane. Without Ralph in this book There is noone to stand up to jack and even him out and the story would end shortly. Ralph brings a light side to the dark tale and with it a natural conflict over leadership.

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