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How are the characters of Ralph, Jack and Piggy established in theopening chapters of the novel Lord of the Flies

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At the start of the novel we learn that during a nuclear war, therewas an atomic explosion. Many boys were evacuated on an aircraft witha detachable passenger tube. They were flying over tropical seas viaGibraltar and Addis Ababa when the tube was released andcrashed-landed in the jungle of an island. The aircraft flew off inflames and overnight the remains of the tube were swept out to sea ina storm. No adults survived, so the remaining boys had to look afterthemselves. They realised that the plane had been attacked and afterall the boys are reunited their individual characters are revealed indepth.

Ralph from the start is portrayed as a nice friendly person who wantsto find a way to get home and to keep the people’s spirits high. He isthe leader of the group. He tries to keep a democracy, but Jack’saggressive nature does not allow it to last very long. Ralph isprobably the most likable person in the book, because of his goodnature and his handsome looks, “His size and attractive appearance”.Ralph means “counsel” in the Anglo- Saxon language, and he’s the onewho calls all the meetings by blowing the conch, and he’s chosen asthe leader. The conch is seen as a powerful symbol, and he holds it.Ralph does not specialize in any area of human behaviour, except maybefor having common sense (building shelters, climbing the mountain tosee if it is an island) and Jack can be seen as his opposite. At thebeginning, clearly Ralph feels that Jack is an ally, a companion; nota rival for leadership, “Ralph found himself alone on a limb with Jackand they grinned at each other … that strange invisible light offriendship”. The chosen leader of the group, Ralph tried to lead thestranded boys into some kind of order. The authority of Jack and thesensibility of Piggy easily sway him. When Ralph first meets Piggy, hesees him as a lower person who should be ridiculed. He starts off byasking for his name and he is told that people used to make fun of himwith the name ‘Piggy’. Piggy didn’t want to be known by that nameanymore. However, Ralph then starts to shout to the other boys thathis name is ‘Piggy’ as a joke. This shows that Ralph, while being afriendly and kind person, sometimes will make fun of another person to

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