Character Analysis Many characters in the novel Lord of the Flies, changed as the story went on. The novel's author, William Golding, made the changes obvious with the things that the characters did. Ralph, Jack, Piggy and Samneric were all pretty close at the beginning of the novel. Throughout the children's experiences they started to alter the things that they did. In the following paragraphs, descriptions will be given to show what transformations took place with the children in the story.
Ralph, one of the main characters in the story, didn't have many drastic changes in the way he did things. At the beginning of the novel, Ralph was voted the leader. He took the position and he proved to everyone that they made a good choice with their votes. Ralph told the children that they needed fire and that would be the only way to be rescued. He took responsibility and made the right choices in order to benefit the entire group.
He wanted to do what was fair. When the group decided that they wanted to have fun instead of work, Ralph began to change. He bossed people around and didn't even try to compromise. Ralph was disliked by some, including Jack. This made some children leave his group and go to the group that Jack formed. The only ones that stayed with Ralph were Piggy and Samneric. When Ralph went to the "tribal" party and tried to have fun, Simon was murdered. Ralph didn't want that to happen again so he stayed away. At the end of the story, Ralph was running away from the other boys instead of continuing to be the leader.
Jack changed for the worse in this novel. At the start of the story, Jack was a boy that followed the rules most of the time. He tried to get along with everybody. Then as the story went on, he started to change. Jack didn't want to do anything except hunt. It didn't matter if the boys needed to eat the pigs or not, Jack wanted to kill them. He turned into a savage. Then Jack didn't want to stay in the group that he was in because all that they did was work. He wanted to have a good time because there were no adults around. He took most of the boys with him in this new group. Jack changed into a boy who made the children do whatever he wanted done with no questions asked. For example, Ralph asked Robert why Jack wanted to beat Wilfred and Robert didn't know the answer. Jack made the boys tie the boy up and nobody asked why. They were afraid of what Jack would do to them so no one questioned him. It was just the way things were. After the "tribe" killed Piggy and Simon, Jack turned the boys against Ralph and wanted to kill him too. Everyone went with the plan. Jack got so involved with the idea of killing that problems started to occur. Jack came to the conclusion that he wanted to kill Ralph by setting the island on fire. What he didn't realize was that he was killing himself at the same time. All of the animals would die along with all of the fruits. The boys would have nothing left to eat, and they would starve to death. The actions of Jack weren't the only things that changed. A more obvious shift in things was when Jack's name was no longer Merridew, and it wasn't Jack. Everyone called him chief and nothing else.
Piggy, like Ralph, didn't change much throughout the novel. Piggy was the kind of child that did what was right all of the time. When adults told him what was right to do, he listened. Piggy wanted to do what was correct when he was with the other children stranded on the island. He also wanted the others to follow the same rules on the island that they would follow at home or if there was adult supervision. Piggy didn't want to change the way he was because he liked himself for what he was and it didn't matter to him what the other boys did; he wanted to do what was correct. The other children didn't like Piggy because he always wanted to follow rules and because he was different than everyone else. Piggy wore glasses at a young age, and the boys weren't used to that. Piggy also had asthma and he was fat for his age. The boys didn't like having to deal with a boy that was different. He was left out from most activities. Piggy didn't have much time to change the way he was because at the end of the novel, Piggy ended up getting murdered by the boys. The way that the children acted around Piggy and treated him is a good example of what society does to people who aren't the same as everyone else. People like Piggy wouldn't survive in a society without rules and regulations. Samneric were boys that acted as one. Whatever one did, the other had to do the same thing at the same time. They had one major change in the group that they were in. They believed in Ralph and the things that Ralph did. Samneric both stayed in his group when everyone else betrayed him. When Piggy was killed they were forced against their will to join Jack's group. Instead of running away when they had a chance, they stayed. Samneric's fear for Jack was immense and they knew that Jack would hurt them if they left his group. They didn't have a choice as to whose group they wanted to be a part of. They still believed in Ralph, and when they could help them they would. For instance, Samneric gave food to Ralph when he asked them what Jack was going to do to him if he found him. Samneric also helped Ralph by telling him where they were going to search for him the next day. However, the two boys had a change in heart. When they saw Ralph, they told Jack and Ralph had to run away.
A lot of changes in characters occurred in the story for the worse. In a world without rules to obey, people will turn into people that they don't really want to be. Laws hold the society together and make sure everyone stays mostly civilized. Lord of the Flies is a perfect example of the destruction of the way of life. Humans turn to savagery as a way to continue on with life if someone wasn't there to tell them why, when and how to do things.