"Lord Of The Flies" - comparing Ralph Vs Jack

Essay by smilesf0rsaleHigh School, 11th gradeB, March 2008

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In the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, we are faced with one of the classic dilemmas, Good vs. Evil. We see these characteristics in the two main characters, Ralph the protagonist of the novel and Jack, the antagonist. Throughout the novel we see strong conflicts between these two. We see how ones actions are for the good of the tribe, and ones actions are for greed and selfishness.

We first start to see tension between the two boys in the beginning of the book. Jack is very frustrated that Ralph was voted chief and not him. From that point on the feud grew. Ralph thinks that the most important to do is to start a signal fire, so if a ship or plain passes by, they will see the smoke and rescue the boys. The fire symbolizes security, responsibility and most of all hope. This shows Ralph’s good morals.

On the other hand, Jack, was the least bit concerned with the signal fire. The most important thing on Jack’s mind was hunting. He painted his face like a savage, and claimed that he was hunting for the tribe, but he really was doing it for himself. He was desperately trying to gain respect in the tribe. He was not concerned with rules, discipline or being civilized.

Throughout the book, Ralph was concerned with being a good leader and doing what was best for his tribe, unlike Jack, who was manipulative and irresponsible. Jack would manipulate the other boys in the tribe by telling them that he would protect them from the beast. While Ralph was practical and tried to convince the other boys that there wasn’t a beast and that they had nothing to be worried about. Jack would lie, kill and steal when ever he wanted.

Unlike most stories, good does not always prevail over evil. Even though Ralph tried his best to be a good person, it seems that he is beaten by Jack. Throughout the book we see how these two constantly bump heads and cause the tribe to divide and separate, which brought the defeat of Ralph.

BibliographyBook: Sir William Gerald Golding, "Lord Of The Flies"