When "Lord of the Flies" opens, what is Ralph's attitude toward the island?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Ralph is excited and hopeful to be staying on an uninhabited island. After the group of boys assembles for the first time, Ralph, Simon, and Jack survey the island. They walk through the lush forest full of fruits, see pig trails, and climb to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain, the boys discover that they are indeed on an uninhabited island. They each share feelings of elation following their first expedition. When the three boys return to the group, Ralph mentions that "this is a good island." The other boys become excited after hearing this good news and begin to compare their experience to Treasure Island. Ralph is hopeful at the beginning of the story, and Golding depicts the island as paradise. As the novel progresses, the boys gradually descend into savagery, similar to how man's original sin ruined Eden. 

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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Ralph is absolutely delighted to be on the island away from adult authority and it spurs on his ambition: When Piggy tells him there are no grown ups on the island, "The delight of a realized ambition overcame him" (Chap 1). Ralph strips off his clothes, "...pulled off his shirt...undid the snake-clasp of his belt, lugged off his shorts and pants, and stood there naked" (Chap 1). Thus, Golding sets the scene to turn the boys away from civilization, the metaphor of shedding the clothes, and turn toward the primitive. What Ralph doesn't realize in his joy at his newfound freedom without authority is the price of responsibility!