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What is Ralph's attitude towards Piggy in the first chapter?

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madmesgs | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 13, 2009 at 7:41 AM via web

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What is Ralph's attitude towards Piggy in the first chapter?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Ralph's attitude is one of shaky friendship mixed with condescension. He seems callous and unaware of Piggy at first: when Piggy asks his name, he does not ask Piggy in return. He replies "Sucks to your auntie" and "Sucks to your ass-mar" to Piggy's attempts at casual conversation. Yet he allows Piggy to advise him on what to do in the role of leader, & after finding the conch. Piggy sticks close to Ralph, perhaps as a result of a natural aversion to the aggressive nature of Jack, and Ralph allows this, perhaps understanding the need for Piggy's intelligence.

However, Piggy feels betrayed when Ralph reveals his nickname to the group, after he specifically asked him not to. Yet Ralph makes a marginal apology ("Better Piggy than Fatty") and assigns Piggy some minor responsibility to make it up to him. One senses that at this point, Ralph identifies more with Jack than Piggy, but Piggy will prove to be a true friend, while Jack harbors ability for evil within.

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