Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Start Free Trial

Who is Ralph?

Describe him.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ralph is a tall and well liked boy who stands up to be a leader of the boys upon their crashing on the island.  He is blonde and handsome and has great ambitions to be respected, but he also lacks some confidence and doesn't always understand exactly how to get the boys to follow him.  This is in comparison to Jack, who clearly understands what the boys want and assumes they will eventually gravitate towards him.

Ralph also represents some of the societal norms and the idea of rules and governance as he attempts to get the boys to follow a sort of system in order to make things work on the island and to facilitate a rescue.

Posted on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ralph is the novel’s protagonist. He is a twelve-year-old English boy, elected leader of the group marooned on the island. He tries to coordinate the efforts to build a mini civilization on the island until they can be rescued. Ralph represents the civilizing instinct of humans.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial