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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How does Ralph believe they will be rescued in Lord of the Flies?

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Ralph is still an optimist in the beginning of the story.  In the first chapter, right after the boys land on the island and Ralph meets up with Piggy, Ralph says that his father, who is a commander in the Navy, will come and rescue them as soon as he can.  When Piggy, the thinker among the boys, asks how would Ralph's father know where they are, Ralph says that his father would be told.  Piggy next says that no one knows where they are because the landing wasn't scheduled and he heard the pilot say that people back home were dead.  Ralph ignores Piggy's last comment because he doesn't want to face reality.  At this point, Ralph is still a boy filled with fun, adventure, and hope.  Piggy is the one who faces reality and suggest they make plans to deal with it. He also prophetically says that they may be there until they die.  At the beginning of chapter 2, Ralph is more realistic.  He tells the boys that they may, indeed, be there a long time and that they need to face that possibility by taking care of things such as making shelter, finding food, and making rules.  He is still optimistic enough to hope that a signal fire may alert someone to their existence.  By the last chapter, Ralph is no longer thinking about how to get off the island, but he is thinking about how to stay alive.  He is being hunted like a pig and when he rolls down the hill onto the beach and the feet of the Naval officer, he is overwhelmed by the man's presence.

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