Character Sketch of Ralph and Jack Lord of the Flies

10 October 2016

When the boys decided to elect a boy as their leader, Ralph won the election, even if the choirboys voted for Jack. So Ralph asked Jack to be the leader of the choirboys who would be the hunters. This situation indicates that Ralph cares about the others and their feelings. Throughout the novel Ralph tries to establish order and focus on rescue. He decided that in the meetings only the boy who holds the conch shell could speak. This shows his sympathy for rules, similar to the civilized world.

Ralph encouraged the boys to build huts, but all the boys, except Simon and Piggy are concerned with playing, having fun and avoiding work. Ralph thought about them as silly kids, what they actually are. Ralph inherits the role of an adult. He wants especially to keep the fire on the mountain going so that when a ship passes, the boys can be rescued.

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His main wish is to be rescued and until this he tries to maintain order. Ralph primary represents order and civilization, as opposed to the savage instinct that Jack embodies.

As the group gradually succumbs to savage instincts over the course of the novel, Ralph’s position declines precipitously while Jack’s rises. When Jack forms a separate, rival group, the focus is on hunting and savagery rather than rescue. Ralph starts to get worried about the rescue he waits for and doesn’t know what to do. When the novel progresses Ralph comes to understand that savagery exists within all the boys. When he hunts a boar for the first time, he experiences the exhilaration and thrill of bloodlust and violence.

In the end of the novel, after the rest of the boys joined Jack’s tribe and Piggy and Simon were killed by them, Ralph is left to survive on his own in the forest being chased by the ‘savage’ boys. Ralph’s story ends semi-tragically: although he is rescued, when he sees the naval officer, he weeps with the burden of his new knowledge about the human capacity for evil. Character Sketch: Jack Jack Merridew, an English boy, is the antagonist of the novel and represents the direct opposite to Ralph. He is tall, redheaded and approximately twelve years old.

When the group of boys decided to elect a leader, Jack was upset, because Ralph became the leader. “The freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification. ”(p. 24). Instead of leading the whole group, Ralph asked Jack to be the leader of the choirboys, who will be the hunters. The first time Jack encountered a pig, he was not able to kill it, but soon he became obsessed with hunting. “(He) painted (his) face…” (p. 81) and he became more and more wild and violent, until he was always ready to fight. “(He) cut the pig’s throat –“ (p. 81).

Jack primarily represents the instinct of savagery, violence and the desire of power. When Jack didn’t want Ralph to be the leader anymore, most of the boys didn’t agree. Jack was angry about this situation: “‘I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you. ’” (p. 140), Jack said and stormed away to form his own group. Many of the boys followed him and Jack leads them from civilized boys into savages throughout the novel. He becomes increasingly wild, barbaric and cruel as the novel progresses. “Jack wrenched free and swung at Ralph with his spear. (p. 196). The more savage Jack becomes, the more he is able to control the rest of the group. He is constantly violent and threatens those boys “below” him. Jack is getting out of control and leads his “tribe” towards Simon’s and Piggy’s murder. He brings the boys into mass hysteria and eventually almost hunts Ralph down. In the end of the novel Jack has learned to use the boy’s fear of the beast to control their behavior. Jack represents the instinct of savagery within human beings, as opposed to the civilizing instinct Ralph presents.

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Character Sketch of Ralph and Jack Lord of the Flies. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved December 13, 2019, from
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