What does Ralph's father do for a living? Why does this provide hope for Ralph and the boys on the island?

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Although the boys are having a lot of fun on their remote desert island, they don't want to end up staying there forever. At some point, they're going to need to be rescued. Thankfully, Ralph's on hand to give them some hope. His father's a naval officer, and it's not unreasonable to conclude that, once he finds out what's happened to his son and all the other boys, he'll head out to sea at the earliest opportunity to go find them.

But here's the kicker. Ralph says that his father will come and rescue them "when he gets leave." But neither Ralph nor anyone else knows when that will be. Don't forget, Lord of the Flies takes place against the backdrop of nuclear war, so it may be quite some time before Ralph's old man is able to obtain leave from his duties.

Nevertheless, the other boys are too young and naive to think about such things, and are convinced that Ralph's father will soon be sailing to their rescue.

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In Chapter 1, Ralph tells Piggy that his father taught him to swim when he was five and that his father is a commander in the Navy. In Chapter 2, Ralph holds an assembly and offers the boys hope by telling them that they will be rescued because his father is searching for them. He also tells the group of boys that his father has access to a collection of maps with all the islands in the world on it. Ralph then says that sooner or later his father's ship will pass the island, and the boys will be rescued. The possibility of Ralph's father searching for the stranded group of boys provides every boy on the island with a sense of hope. The boys are relieved to hear Ralph's encouraging words and believe that they will be rescued by his father.

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