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Essay/Term paper: Lord of the flies

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Lord of the Flies

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In Lord of the Flies, a novel by William Golding, an airplane load of school-age boys are stranded on a deserted tropical island after their plane is accidentally shot down during World War II. Since there are no adults, the boys try to organize themselves with a chief, hunters, and a few people to watch a signal fire for any ships that might pass. Factions develop with the original group and the hunters. The child who is chosen to be the chief is Ralph. As the leader of the hunters, Jack, creates his own group, Ralph grows and matures as a result of his internal conflicts.

At the start of the novel, Ralph is very immature. Like most children, he is excited to find out that there are no adults to watch him and tell him he couldn't do something. At the moment Ralph was told this information from his friend Piggy, he takes off all of his clothes and starts to swim in a pool of water on the beach. When Ralph does this, he is like a child left alone to play his favorite games. He does not care about anything at first because he has a strong belief that his father, who is in the navy, will send someone to rescue them.

In the meantime, Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell. If you blow into a conch shell a certain way, in makes a loud, low-pitched sound. Piggy tells Ralph about this, and Ralph uses the sound from the conch to call an assembly. All different aged boys appear on the shore where Ralph blows the conch. When it is thought that all of the boys are there, they begin to have a meeting. First, they elect a chief. They choose Ralph as their leader over a boy who was in the choir and his old school named Jack. After Jack losses, Ralph makes Jack the leader of the hunters. As Ralph tries to make law and build his society, all of the others seem to loose interest in helping one another and go off on their own and play. This happens when Ralph tries to build shelters; everyone builds the first one, then only four build the second one and only Ralph and a boy named Simon build the third and final one. Ralph is currently in the maturing process. He doesn't understand how to be a good leader, but he is respected by everyone one the island.

As Jack becomes better at hunting pigs, he gets more followers. There comes a time in the novel when Ralph's tribe is only Simon, Piggy, and identical twins whose names are Sam and Eric. In the novel, the are commonly called "Samneric" because they do everything together. When Jack's tribe of hunters kill a pig, they invite Ralph and his group to eat in their feast. After the feast, at night, there is a barbaric dance that contains the words, "Kill the Pig! Cut her throat! Spill her blood!" in song. The chant eventually turns into, "Kill the Beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" as Simon comes out of the forest and onto the beach. They think Simon is a beast the lives on the island and they kill him. A few days later, Jack and his hunters sneak up on Piggy and Ralph and take Piggy's glasses to be used to start a fire. When Piggy and Ralph go to Jack's camp to get Piggy's glasses back, one of the hunters pushes a boulder over the cliff. This boulder lands on Piggy, killing him instantly. The gargantuan rock also shatters the conch shell. Jack then tries to kill Ralph. He chases Ralph to the beech where Ralph runs into a British Naval Officer. Not until this is Ralph fully mature. He was reminiscing about Piggy and Simon and how he and all of the other kids on the island became so barbaric. Ralph could have been mistaken for an adult (not in appearance, he is only about 12).

Unlike some of the other characters in the novel, Ralph is a character who grows and changes. He becomes more mature and ready for whatever the future might throw at him.


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