Lord of the Flies

What are some characteristics of Ralph and Jack`s?


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The protagonist of the story, Ralph is one of the oldest boys on the island. He quickly becomes the group's leader. Golding describes Ralph as tall for his age and handsome, and he presides over the other boys with a natural sense of authority. Although he lacks Piggy's overt intelligence, Ralph is calm and rational, with sound judgment and a strong moral sensibility. But he is susceptible to the same instinctive influences that affect the other boys, as demonstrated by his contribution to Simon's death. Nevertheless, Ralph remains the most civilized character throughout the novel. With his strong commitment to justice and equality, Ralph represents the political tradition of liberal democracy.

Jack Merridew

The leader of a boys' choir, Jack exemplifies militarism as it borders on authoritarianism. He is cruel and sadistic, preoccupied with hunting and killing pigs. His sadism intensifies throughout the novel, and he eventually turns cruelly on the other boys. Jack feigns an interest in the rules of order established on the island, but only if they allow him to inflict punishment. Jack represents anarchy. His rejection of Ralph's imposed order--and the bloody results of this act--indicate the danger inherent in an anarchic system based only on self-interest.