How do the three main charaters of Lord of the Flies develop in in chapters 5-6?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The three most dominant characters in both chapters five and six are Ralph, Jack, and Piggy. 


Golding develops Ralph's character at the beginning of chapter five by focusing on Ralph's inner turmoil over how he must handle the assembly and drive home the importance of maintaining a signal fire to the other boys.  He reminds himself, "This meeting must not be fun, but business" (76). 


In chapter five, Golding defines Jack's character though his opposition to Ralph's ideas in the meeting. He protests Ralph's new rules about the fire, and then steers the meeting's topic to that of the beast. The boys' discussion of the beast dominates much of chapter five, and Golding uses Jack's dialogue to reveal how the boy plays on the boys' fears to build his own self-importance.


Golding usually uses Piggy's dialogue to reveal his thoughts and feelings. In both chapters, Piggy's ideas are both practical and logical, as he tries to explain away the scary thought of a beast by using a scientific approach. In the last part of chapter five, Piggy and Ralph both wish for an adult to come and set things right on the island, which really reveals their connection to civilization and the adult world in general, because they are not comfortable with the savagery that is beginning to take hold of the other boys.


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