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What role does Ralph play in the novel 'Lord Of The Flies'?

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Introduction

What role does Ralph play in the novel 'Lord Of The Flies'? During an unnamed time in the war, a plane carrying a group of school children was shot down, the pilot was killed, but many of the children survived the crash. They found themselves stranded on a deserted island they were all alone with no adults to look after them. During the daytime the boys are hopeful about being rescued, they explore and enjoy the scenery, but during the night they become scared of there own imaginations. The boys split into two tribes the hunters and the others, some of the others joined the hunters and by the end of the book they become one big tribe of savages, apart from a few of the others. The novel is set in the near future, you can believe it could happen, you know that it isn't in the past because there are planes, but the planes are flying quite high because in the book it says that the man that fell from the plane was wearing a oxygen mask and that he was flying at about 12 miles up. The novel was published in 1954 so during this time people were scared about atomic warfare and nuclear bombs. Golding wrote the book with knowledge about what happened in the World War 2 because he joined the royal navy and he saw action against aircraft's, submarines and battleships. ...read more.

Middle

The island represents the world, the shape of the island is a boat which is the ancient symbol for civilisation, the water around the island seems to be flowing backwards, this may represent that civilisation is going backwards for the island or the people on it. Piggy and his glasses represent ability to see clearly, intelligence; in the society they represent order. The boys use Piggy's glasses to start the fire; it's a fire of knowledge and hope. When they broke his glasses this represented the progressive decay of rational thought on the island. The conch represents order and authority, in the beginning of the book the conch is pink and is quite powerful but as the story goes on the conch becomes lighter and almost transparent it represents that the power is failing, at the end, the conch gets crushed which means all the power is lost. The beast comes to represent the evil one or the Devil, the dark side of human beings, it also represents destruction because when the boys say they've seen the beast they start to chant and that's how Simon gets killed. The symbolism in the story shows how society holds every one together, and without these conditions our ideals, values and the basics of right and wrong are lost without societies rules savagery can come to light. This is shown in the novel when the rules were broken, when they turned to Jack and started killing things, authority was lost, the power from the conch was lost and they killed the intelligence, there was nothing but savagery. ...read more.

Conclusion

In each chapter there is something to show this loss and the reader begins to worry about what will happen next. The author is a really good at creating tension. Once the reader becomes thoroughly engrossed in the story it concludes as abruptly as it began. At the end the reader is so caught up by events that they just want to know what happens to Ralph. The ending is effective because there is no time for the reader to question or disagree. The story is over and has made its impression before we realise it. Lord of the flies is an allegorical novel, this means the characters, events and settings represent deeper truths than what suggested by the surface story, because it is an allegory, each character represents an idea or theme on more than one level, for example: The character piggy represents or symbolises the human capacity for intelligence in all individuals and in all our minds, he also represents the use of what society makes of it's combined intelligence. The character Ralph represents law and order in the society, he also represents human common sense to show how civilisation works. The character Jack represents the destructive side of man. He also represents the desire in human mind. The title of the book is also an allegory 'Lord of the Flies' it translates to Beelzebub, which means Devil. By reading the novel, Golding compels us to confront 'the devil' in us all. By Lois Dean ...read more.

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