What are Jack, Roger, Ralph, and Piggy's motivations and attitudes of being on the island in Lord of the Flies?
We are doing a character analysis chart and I thought it would be helpful to see what others think about this question
Any help is appreciated!
Well, I'll begin with the first. Jack is motivated at different times by a desire to be in control and a desire to kill. In the beginning, he continually challenges Ralph's authority, drawing attention to himself as often as possible. At first, he relishes the power he gains by withholding meat, being able to distribute it as he wishes. Yet as the story progresses, he turns into a savage hunter, thinking only of the thrill of the hunt. This applies equally to pigs and people, as he ruthlessly pursues Ralph. His attitude is one of condescension and aggression, as he violently assaults Piggy, and threatens the other boys.
Roger is essentially a sadist. He is motivated by the pleasure he gains from hurting others. The first killing of the sow is an example of this, as he not only stabs the pig, but tortures it. This idea of torture comes back later when Samneric tell Ralph that Roger "has sharpened a stick at both ends." Roger could care less for order or hunting or authority: he only wants to hurt. It is he who kills Piggy, and he most likely tortures Samneric as well.
Ralph is motivated by a desire to keep order, although he himself slips into savagery at various times. He participates in the murder of Simon, lured into it by the thrill of the dance and having gorged himself on meat. However, he generally looks out for the interests of everyone, attempting to build shelters, & to keep the signal fire going. He is constantly frustrated in his efforts by Jack and his hunters, and the tension between the two leads to the climax of the novel.
Finally, Piggy is motivated, like Ralph by a desire to create a society resembling the one from which they have come. He is terrified of losing his glasses, which are a symbol of insight and a connection to the lost society. He is the scholar of the group, having all the good ideas, and always advising Ralph on the next step. Yet he is weak, and fat, and cannot defend himself against Jack and the others. Ultimately, he dies as a sacrifice to the beast that has been unleashed within each boy.