Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The primary changes in Ralph are in maturity and learning to think on his feet. Ralph is basically an introspective, conservative person who believes strongly in the virtues of an orderly society. He thinks things over and considers all the angles before making a decision. Ralph understands that there are some limitations to his approach, but he mistakenly thinks that the defects are intellectual. Although he is sometimes unkind to Piggy, he admires him for his intelligence. Ralph is naturally a brave rather than a fearful person, so it does not occur to him that the other children—especially the younger ones—will be almost paralyzed by fear. As he is not a jealous person, neither can he anticipate that another boy will covet the leadership role that came to him so naturally.

When the children prove incapable of maintaining a cohesive society in the absence of adult supervision, Ralph not only loses his position of leadership but also is put on the defensive. Once he realizes the...

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