How does Ralph change in the novel Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Ralph is rather optimistic and openly accepts the position as the boys' leader. Ralph believes that the boys will be able to survive and has hope that they will be rescued. As the novel progresses, Ralph becomes disenchanted with his role as the boys' leader. His inexperience as a leader is evident as the boys refuse to complete tasks and dismiss his directives. Ralph experiences Jack's antagonistic nature and begins to become depressed. As the boys join Jack's tribe to engage in savage behavior, Ralph loses hope in being rescued. There are several scenes throughout the novel that portray Ralph giving into his primitive nature like the other boys. Ralph not only hunts but participates in Simon's murder. Ralph's physical appearance parallels the boys' descent into savagery as his hair continues to grow and his body becomes filthy. At the end of the novel, Ralph is forced to embrace his primitive nature when he is being hunted by Jack's tribe. Ralph runs through the forest, hiding in the foliage like a pig. By the time the naval officer arrives, Ralph is a broken child who has lost hope in humanity.

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Lord of the Flies

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