Is Ralph’s biggest mistake to believe in the good side of humans?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Believing that people are good and that they want to do good was one of Ralph's biggest mistakes.  Golding makes Ralph a character who is unrealistic in his goals and in his beliefs. Ralph is naive and this sets him up for his fall.  Another of Ralph's mistakes as a leader of the boys, was to try to appeal to reason when he was dealing with young children.  Ralph couldn't understand how the boys could neglect the signal fire that was meant to help get them rescued.  In chapter 4, when the choir boys who were supposed to keep the fire going let it go out, Ralph is furious.  Jack justifies the boys' actions by saying that they got meat for the boys to eat. Ralph reasons that getting rescued is more important than a meal with meat.  Ralph fails to grasp that not everyone thinks the same way he does, that not everyone sees things as logically as he does.  He believed that all the boys on the island shared the same goal he had - to get rescued and return home.  He believed that with that as a goal, everyone would want to do what it would take to survive, including helping one another get along.  Ralph saw their existence on the island as a merely a hurdle, albeit a big one, in their lives that they had to struggle to get over so they could continue on with their lives.  Jack and his henchmen saw their existence on the island as an opportunity to gain power and control.  Jack did everything he could to exploit this opportunity that fate presented to him.

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Lord of the Flies

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