"He had glimpsed the legs of a savage coming toward him..."(p.191): this essay is about how Ralph changes over the course of Golding's Lord of the Flies.

Essay by zzrockinrobinHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2003

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"He had glimpsed the legs of a savage coming toward him..."(p.191)

People have the tendency to act differently when in different situations with different people. Their actions can reflect their environment, responsibilities, or the people around them. This idea is supported by William Golding's character Ralph in Lord of the Flies. Ralph started as an effective leader, and when some of his tribe turned into savages, he remained the voice of reason. By the end of the novel, Ralph had to turn savage himself in order to save his own life.

When Ralph first landed on the island, he was an innocent boy of "twelve years and a few months"(p.10) with "bright, excited eyes"(p.10). He immediately was declared "chief with the trumpet-thing"(p.22), referring to the "ever so expensive"(p.16) conch shell he found "among the ferny weeds"(p.15). Ralph called the tribe together by "blowing the conch"(p.32). They always responded to him.

He realized that they "must make a fire"(p.38) in case "a ship comes near the island"(p.38). Although he was respected as a leader, his power wasn't absolute because he was often "left, holding the conch, with no one but Piggy"(p.38). Ralph was a strong leader, but couldn't completely control the tribe.

Once Jack became obsessed with murdering the pig, Ralph had a harder time being a good leader. While Jack "became less a hunter than a furtive thing"(p.49), Ralph was "working for days"(p.50) on more important things; shelters. The others still acknowledged Ralph's leadership, but expected him to do all the work. When Jack doesn't listen, Simon says to Ralph, "You're chief. You tell 'em off"(p.51). Although Jack "gave orders, sang, whistled, and threw remarks at the silent Ralph"(p.72), Ralph still "asserted his chieftainship"(p.73). Staying away from the temptations of savagery was difficult for him, and when the hunters...