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Compare and Contrast the characters of Ralph and Jack in the first and last chapters in Lord of the Flies(TM)

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the characters of Ralph and Jack in the first and last chapters in 'Lord of the Flies' Lord of the flies is a novel about a group of boys who are lost on an island in the middle of the ocean. It is written by William Golding. Two of the key characters in the novel are Ralph and Jack, they have completely dissimilar characteristics and this essay will compare those two characters. The first time we see the two characters of Ralph and Jack contrast is in chapter one. The readers read that when Ralph first appeared on the island he was wearing his school sweater. Slowly because of the heat he took it off and 'trailed it... from one hand'. The fact that Ralph shows no respect for his clothes tells the reader that he is an ordinary school boy who does not yet care about his appearance. As a result of this he is not self conscious and thereby innocent. In contrast, Jack and his choir's, `bodies, from throat to ankle, were hidden by black cloaks which bore a long silver cross...`. Their dark clothes are menacing and hint about them being savages in the future. Their clothing is extremely unsuitable for their new surroundings and they soon take them off. ...read more.

Middle

Ralph's enthusiasm to swim causes him to leave Piggy behind. Ralph chooses fun over common sense, whilst Piggy tries to be sensible. Ralph immaturity is shown when he, 'stood there naked looking at the dazzling beach and sea'. Ralph shedding his clothes tells the reader that he is still very much a child and is not worried or self conscious about what others may think of him. Ralph's nakedness also tells us that he is innocent and childlike; as a result he is very naive. Being naked in `paradise`, metaphorically reminds the reader of Adam and Eve being naked in the Garden of Eden. If Jack had been around he would have thought it maybe gay or babyish to strip naked in front of everyone because he did not know such innocence as Ralph did. We see that Jack is much more mature and less innocent then Ralph. However, the readers also see that Jack is still very much a school boy who possesses fear and morals. We read that `Jack's face was white under the freckles. He noticed that he still held the knife aloft...`. Jack cannot bring himself to kill the pig; he is still a civilised school boy who is squeamish about blood. Ralph immaturity is shown further when he shows disrespect towards normal aspects of democracy. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Jack and Roger just want to be free and have no rules or democracy. In addition Jack also wants to kill Ralph because Ralph took away his leadership and as a result he is extremely jealous. Upon being rescued by a group of naval officers, 'The officer inspected the little scarecrow in front of him. The kid needed a bath, a hair-cut, a nose wipe and a good deal of ointment'. The readers are reminded here that despite Ralph going through this horrible ordeal, he is still ultimately a child. This reminds the reader of Ralphs's character in Chapter One when he looked innocent and childlike and looked at everything with, `bright exciting eyes`. One could see how the events of the novel have changed Ralph's character. However, Golding's description of his appearance when he was found by the naval officers, remind the reader that he is still physically a child. In conclusion when comparing Jack and Ralph's characters in the first and last chapter in the novel, one can see that the main differences are that Jack is more conventional and conformist where Ralph is more easy going and a little rebellious who is always on the look out for adventure and danger. However, Ralph would like to be rescued by others where as Jack would like to make his own 'gang' and would thrive on his own leadership. ?? ?? ?? ?? Yehuda Fletcher (tm) English Coursework(c) 14/12/08 1 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is an extremely well-focused response to a question that asks candidates to analyse and draw comparisons between the characters of Jack and Ralph. In the answer, the candidate covers a diverse ranges of incidents regarding the characterisation of Jack ...

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Response to the question

This is an extremely well-focused response to a question that asks candidates to analyse and draw comparisons between the characters of Jack and Ralph. In the answer, the candidate covers a diverse ranges of incidents regarding the characterisation of Jack and Ralph and astutely pays attention to very fine detail about how Golding presents them and the change they (particularly Ralph) undertake as life on the unnamed island start to affect them and their interactions with others.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here displayed is simply outstanding. Very few answers I have read thus far delve so deep into so many literary techniques that Golding uses to inform his characters and draws successfully on a large number of appropriate quotes from the source text. This kind of analysis is the kind that examiners love to see - quality. not quantity. Cliché as it sounds, if candidates can select only the most important areas of text that relate to the question to analyse and do so to such an extent as shown here, then they will benefit more than candidate who spread their analysis thinly over too many parts of the source texts. The quotes here are very appropriate and also demonstrate a holistic understanding of the novel and how Golding's allegoric symbolism informs the readers' reaction to Jack and Ralph.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is very good, with the candidate tackling a large variety of challenging vocabulary and making no recognisable spelling errors. There could be an improvement made in the punctuation area with more complex punctuation points like colon, semi-colons, but nonetheless, this is a very well-structured and well-presented answer that is entirely indicative of someone operating at an A* grade.


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