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Show how Ralph and Jack have changed considerably in chapter one. And how events have changed the atmosphere for the worst.

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Introduction

Show how Ralph and Jack have changed considerably in chapter one. And how events have changed the atmosphere for the worst. Jack and Ralph in chapters one to six are reviled, and shown to be in conflict with each other, with each episode on the island reinforcing their strengths, weaknesses and differences. The island itself appears to be utopia and does in fact provide everything needed to sustain life until eventual rescue and gradually the boys destroy their physical and emotional recourses. In chapter one William Golding introduces Ralph as the first survivor on the paradise island. Ralph is described as 'the boy with fair hair'. He is from a middle class family, I know this because of his language and when he is describes his relationship with his father; 'I could swim when I was five. Daddy taught me. He's a commander in the Navy. When he gets leave he'll come and rescue us.' Ralph is optimistic; he is a person who takes a favorable view of circumstances or prospects. We can see this when he and Piggy are talking about grown-ups, '"aren't there any grown-ups at all?" "I don't think so." The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reverse fat boy. "No grown-ups!"' Ralph is right now oblivious to any danger or fear. He looks around the island and sees fruit to survive on. "Here was a coral island." The island is everything Ralph imagined it would be, "the imagined but never fully realised place leaping into real life." The island seems a sort of paradise: blue seas, golden sands fringed with coconut palms, lush jungle with fruit trees, brightly coloured tropical birds and freshwater streams. The island seems to have everything they need to survive for a long period of time like fruit, meat, water, trees, shelter, warmth and fire. ...read more.

Middle

Jack has regressed to a half-naked savage stalking his pray on all fours like a dog. Like a dog he sniffs for clues. His eyes are "bolting and nearly mad". The language here reinforces the sense of regression, of going back into time. The atmosphere is earthly, sensual and basic; the pig's droppings are still warm, "they are steamed a little". Jack is "steaming with sweat" and "streaked with brown earth". The boys have made some progress in their time on the island. They have built a couple of rough shelters and keep drinking water in coconut shells. But Ralph is annoyed because the boys won't work. When Jack returns from hunting Ralph implies that he is wasting his time and Jack becomes angry. There is open conflict and it is the meat versus the shelter i.e. Jack versus Ralph. The conflict is about Ralph and Simon trying hard to build shelters while all the others just plays and swims. They make friends again by when they first went exploring the island together, but it is clear that both boys have changed. Ralph takes duty of caring for the boys seriously. Jack has become obsessed by hunting and the desire to kill. Ralph is more eager than ever to be rescued. Jack has almost forgotten about rescue in his obsession to kill; '"Rescue? Yes, of course! All the same, I'd like to catch a pig first---" He snatched up his spear and dashed it into the ground.' Ralph confronts Jack and tells him about his desire to hunt; '"I was talking about smoke! Don't you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!" "But we want meat!"' Ralph then realizes that he works hard for something they need while Jack says he works hard for a luxury that is not needed and he likes doing. '"And I work all day with nothing but Simon and you come back and don't even notice the huts!" ...read more.

Conclusion

When Ralph hears that Sam and Eric have seen the beast his first response is to call an assembly. Jack response to this is to go out and hunt it. He is impatient with Ralph who wants to work things out in his mind first. Jack challenges Ralph not only in his authority but the ritual of the conch and the right to free speech: "we don't need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things." Jack implies this Piggy making him feel weak and brainless. Ralph then wins the boys the boys back by reminding them of their desire to be rescued. Ralph's idea of leadership involves a deep sense of responsibility for the people he leads. He cares about the welfare of the littluns. He knows the majority of the boys want to be rescued and does his best to achieve that. He is also very brave, venturing to go first on to the castle rock even though the beast's lair There is a power struggle and Ralph starts to shout at Jack again: '"This is more than a hunter's job," said Ralph at last, "because you can't track the beast. And don't you want to be rescued?"' Ralph then agrees and says that they will look up down by the piled up rocks and they up the mountain to re-light the fire. Toward the end of chapter six they are back together as a unit working together to hunt the beast. These are bittersweet memories of better times without Piggy. These are echo's of chapter one here as the boys set off to explore the narrow end of the island. In the excitement of exploring of the castle rock Jack and Ralph remember the excitement and friendship of their exploration. But both boys have changed since then. Ralph has become older and wiser. His sense of responsibility and purpose gives him the impression of maturity. The boys grumble and argue as Ralph calls them for their play, but Jack upholds Ralph's authority on this occasion and the boys follow Jack across the bridge. ...read more.

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