Ralph in chapter 1 shows himself to be intelligent and practical, almost immediately assessing that the boys have crashed on an island. We find out he is twelve years old, almost adolescent but "not yet old enough for adolescence to have made him awkward." He is graceful and athletic. Balancing his practicality is an ability to enjoy life, and he shows this when, realizing that he is really on a tropical island, he laughs "delightedly" and stands on his head. Then, enticed by the beautiful water, he strips his clothes off and dives in for a swim.
He is described as "mild" and, at this juncture, is boyish and significantly carefree, a kid who has not yet faced life's full harshness despite the war. He falls down with laughter when he hears Piggy's name and pretends to strafe him with a machine gun.
Despite his initial show of intelligence, the boyish Ralph gets so caught up in the beauty and wonder of the island that Piggy takes over the thinking and planning; but Ralph is perceptive and...
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