Ralph was the main protagonist of Lord of The Flies—an allegory about civilization vs barbarian written by William Golding. Ralph (12 or 13 years old) was one of the biguns (group of the bigger boys according to their ages) who was voted as Chief by the other boys when they found themselves trapped in an isolated island without any adult’s presence. Ralph was an ordinary boy with a fair hair before arriving at the island with a slight teenage indifference. He treated Piggy—a fat boy with asthma and thick glasses—like what boys usually treats a weak boy. Everytime Piggy said anything about his asthma, Ralph would answer spontaneously “sucks to your ass-mar”. He never wanted to know Piggy’s name, but when Piggy told him a secret about the humiliating nickname people often called him (Piggy), Ralph laughed hard at him. And despite of Piggy’s plead not to tell other boys about his nickname, Ralph cried that name out loud to everyone.
At first Ralph enjoyed the freedom he accidently found in an island where no grown-ups would tell him what to do. The adventurous spirit overwhelmed him, and he believed his father would come in no time to rescue him. Before that…it’s time to fun! But when you have reached the end of the story, you would find the very different person of Ralph. What have had changed him? And to what kind of character he would transform?
I think Piggy had a big influence in Ralph’s transformation. I imagined Ralph as an attractive boy, not only fair hair but I think he was rather handsome too. He has a self confident in him, that boys like Piggy would like to befriend him. No wonder the others voted him to be their Chief, partly because he seemed to know what he spoke of, but partly because he was the one who had found the big conch with which Ralph—following Piggy’s advice—called the others for an assembly. You can see that it’s actually Piggy who had the most common sense and intellectuality among them all, but Ralph had what we called charisma.
“There was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out; there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully; there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was se apart.”
After suddenly being made a Chief, Ralph seemed to adapt quite soon, he learned how to make a speech and gain attention from others. However, further along the story, you’d find out that he had not the natural leadership. He often confused and lacked of confidence when trouble comes. If it was not because of Piggy who always supported him, he wouldn’t be that strong. That is his weakness, the lack of focus.
This a slide show of Ralph in “Lord of The Flies” 1990 movie (Balthazar Getty played as Ralph)
But what I love most of Ralph is his kindness, bravery, and of course his strong persistence to keep his common sense and conscience. After Ralph felt that Jack has opposed him, he gradually turned to Piggy’s friendship. I think he saw the same way of thinking with Piggy, and at last he admitted that Piggy was the cleverest of them all. Later on Ralph was Piggy’s protector, both of them depended each others. When Jack and the ‘tribe’ stole Piggy’s spectacles—without which Piggy was almost blind—and Piggy wanted to come to Jack’s to ask for it to be returned—while at that time Jack & his gang has transformed to a frightening tribe of barbarians—Ralph decided to go with Piggy. He even stood alone to ask Jack to return Piggy’s spectacles. Ralph the indifferent has transformed to Ralph the kind-hearted. Sorrows often pull out the real qualities of men…or boys.. :)
**spoiler alert** The last chapter showed how Ralph struggled to keep his common sense. At one point, among his loneliness, pain and fear, Ralph was tempted to join the tribe. He was questioning himself about why he must stick to the ‘kind’ side when the evil side promises a more comfortable life. He answered it himself: “Cos I had some sense.” **spoiler ends**
That’s what I love Ralph most for, he had the persistence to keep his conscience, no matter what the consequences were.
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