Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are some quotes that help the reader determine Ralph's character?

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Ralph is a responsible leader who has his priorities in order. Ralph understands the importance of maintaining a signal fire to attract passing ships and continually reminds the group of boys about its significance. In Chapter 5, Ralph holds an assembly and says,

"The fire is the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don’t keep a fire going? Is a fire too much for us to make?" (Golding 113).

Ralph is also a self-conscious individual who does not have confidence in his leadership abilities. Throughout the novel, Ralph continually mentions that he does not have the intelligence needed to be a proper chief. After the majority of the boys decide to leave Ralph's group, he tells Piggy,

"I ought to give up being chief. Hear ’em" (Golding 131).

Although Ralph is not a successful leader, he is a brave person who is sympathetic to the needs of others. In Chapter 11, Ralph travels to Castle Rock in order to retrieve Piggy's glasses. Ralph courageously challenges Jack to his face and says,

"You could have had fire whenever you wanted. But you didn’t. You came sneaking up like a thief and stole Piggy’s glasses!" (Golding 254).

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