Which boys go exploring the island in Lord of the Flies by William Golding?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The first two boys we meet in chapter one of Lord of the Flies by William Golding are Ralph and Piggy. A plane crash has deposited many boys on the island, and soon we meet the others. Ralph finds a conch shell and Piggy shows him how to blow it; when he does, the boys come out of the foliage and across the sand to the lagoon where they hold an impromptu meeting.

They are English schoolboys, and they are quickly interested in electing a leader. Piggy is the only one of the older boys who seems to care anything for the littler boys, trying to get each one's name and doing what he can to maintain order. Unfortunately, Piggy is a physically unappealing boy (is fat, has asthma, wears thick glasses) and is therefore not looked at with respect, despite his obvious intellectual skills.

The vote for leader comes down to Jack and Ralph, and Jack is certain he will win because he has leadership experience as head of the choir. Unfortunately, no one is impressed at all with Jack, including his own choir, who only vote for him reluctantly.

That leaves Ralph, the older boy who looks like a leader and is therefore voted into the position. One of the first things he says must be done is to explore the island.

 “Listen, everybody. I’ve got to have time to think things out I can’t decide what to do straight off. If this isn’t an island we might be rescued straight away. So we’ve got to decide if this is an island. Everybody must stay round here and wait and not go away. Three of us-if we take more we’d get all mixed, and lose each other-three of us will go on an expedition and find out. I`ll go, and Jack, and, and....”

   He looked round the circle of eager faces. There was no lack of boys to choose from.

   “And Simon.”

Ralph obviously chooses Jack to appease him for losing the election; Simon is an unlikely choice for the third explorer, as he has already demonstrated that he has a tendency to faint. Piggy is upset, of course, believing that since he was with Ralph in the beginning, he should be the one to go along. Ralph certainly never considered taking the overweight boy with him. He and Jack take Simon on the first exploration trip of what they presume to be an island. They are correct. 

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amysor | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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After rejoining on the first morning, brave souls volunteer to explore the land, whether it is a island, or part of a contienent. Jack and Ralph offer, as they have more leadership qualities. Also, Simon tags along, while Piggy, who is uncapable because of his asthma, stays at camp watching over the 'littleuns'.

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