In Lord of the Flies, what are the attitudes of Ralph, Piggy, Simon, Jack and Roger toward the other boys?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are proponents of civility and consider the well-being of the other boys, particularly the littluns. The three boys believe that each individual should be given the opportunity to address the group during assemblies, and they sympathize with the littluns' feelings of terror. Ralph and Simon even attempt to build three huts so that the littluns feel more comfortable at night. Piggy even stays behind to watch over the littluns while Ralph and Simon search for the beast. There are also scenes that depict Simon helping the littluns reach the fruit, and Ralph seems to value the opinions of all the boys. Ralph and Piggy get frustrated with the savage behavior of the other boys that stifles their efforts to establish a civil society. They both begin to challenge Jack and his hunters and quickly become enemies with his tribe.

In contrast, Jack and Roger antagonize the other boys and treat them with contempt. Both boys blatantly disrespect Ralph and Piggy and use fear to manipulate the other boys. Jack and Roger are unsympathetic to the feelings of the other boys and physically harm them when they please. Jack and Roger also enjoy violence and behave aggressively towards the weaker boys.

Stephanie Gregg eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph and Jack have conflicting attitudes toward the rest of the boys.  Ralph feels a heavy responsibility to care for the others, which helps him avoid the panic that builds throughout the novel because of the desperate situation in which he finds himself.  Jack, on the other hand, sees the other boys as ones the be mastered and dominated.  This is in large part due to his own insecurities, which were intensified after the initial vote in which Ralph was elected chief instead of him.

Piggy and Simon both take on nurturing roles toward the other boys.  Piggy takes on the mother-role, always staying behind to monitor them and becoming overly-frustrated and agitated when they do not follow his instructions.  Simon also cares for the others, but more on their own terms instead of on his.  Nowhere is this more clearly seen than when Simon gently assists the "littl'uns" in securing fruit from high in the tree where they can not reach.

Roger is the most inherently cruel boy in the novel.  His instinctual cruelty is seen early when he throws rocks at the boy on the beach while hiding in the palms, which foreshadows when he hurls the rock at Piggy while hiding behind his painted face.

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Lord of the Flies

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