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Character Analysis Essay

Sometimes the greatest conflicts arise when two human beings are comparable to each other in necessary approaches but want very different things. This is the case between Ralph and Jack in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, where a group of puerile boys who find themselves alone on a desolate island endeavor to decipher what they are going to do. The characters Ralph and Jack both have very vigorous leadership roles but they differ in the form of regime and their differences can cause conflict among the group of boys.

A key similarity between Ralph and Jack is that the two of them menace those with incapacities or issues. For one, Ralph treats Piggy badly at the beginning of the novel. For example, in the novel it says that“ The fat boy waited to be asked his name in turn but this proffer of acquaintance was not made”(pg.13). This shows that Ralph is not much interested in Piggy and what he has to say at the beginning of the novel. He does not request an introduction in turn when Piggy asks his name. Similarly, Jack naturally has a strong and vocal abhorrence for Piggy. When one considers this, one can see that Jack shows this bullying by saying to Piggy “ You’re talking too much” and saying “Shut up fatty” (pg.28). As a result it shows that the rude imperative “shut up” is utilized very often from both Ralph and Jack, however Jack Jack utilizes it in any capacity conceivable and Ralph for the most part says it carelessly.

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One critical difference between Ralph and Jack is that they have different forms of government. For example, Ralph has a democratic leadership which is revealed on page 59 of the novel when he says ‘All this I meant to say. Now I’ve said it. You voted me for chief. Now you do what I say”. This evidence shows that Ralph’s authority derives from his elections by the boys this is democracy. Jack is more of a dictator figure. For example, he says ‘A you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing—'(pg. 241). One can infer from this that Jack doesn’t care about the other boy’s opinions. They don’t have the right to have a say cause they’re not the ones hunting or they can’t sing. As a result, there is a difference of beliefs, Jack believes that the main objective on the island is to hunt and Ralph believes that it is to be saved. It symbolizes that represents the bad side of human nature and Ralph represents the good side of democracy.

One critical difference between Ralph and Jack is that they provide or serve different things for the boys. One piece of evidence that shows this is when Ralph says ‘I’m chief. We’ve got to make certain [that there is no beast]. Can’t you see the mountain? There’s no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?’ (6.238). This shows that Ralph shows that he serves by giving orders and by following rules. Another example from the text is when Ralph says ‘’We’ve got to have special people for looking after the fire…We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there.’'[Ralph] (pg42). This example demonstrates Ralph serves rescue by the fire and that he values the other boy’s opinion and the idea of everyone getting along. One can see that Jack serves something else. He serves by hunting for meat and protecting the group from the so-called beast that doesn’t exist.

To sum up, Jack and Ralph are both similar and different in significant ways. On one hand, they both bully Piggy, but on the other hand, they serve and have different forms of government. In the end, this shows that the idea of civilization has vanished within the boys and now it’s savagery because of fear, and the need for serving, food, and protection. 

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Essay on Jack and Ralph in ‘Lord of the Flies’.
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