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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What traits does Ralph display in chapters 1 and 2 of Lord of the Flies?

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From the beginning, Ralph is the leader.  However, his election is merely from finding the conch shell and not being as "scary" as Jack.  The boys favor him and elect him.  He has charisma and the boys seem to follow him well.  He knows that they need to have order, yet he does not possess the intelligence that Piggy does to understand why they need him to lead them.

At the end of chapter 2, we see an almost savage side to Ralph.  The boys have begun something that they can't control.  It most likely has even taken a boy's life.  After the fire goes completely out of control, Ralph snaps at Piggy.

"'That's enough!' said Ralph sharply, and snatched back the conch.' If you didn't you didn't.'"

Ralph had given Piggy the job of collecting all the names.  However, with them running all around, Piggy never got that opportunity to get them all.  Ralph is angry, but knows he too couldn't have done it any better.  He realizes that he can't control them all.  He doesn't quite grasp his role and how to keep everyone together to "follow the rules."

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