Throughout William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, Ralph and Jack’s struggle for control initially spawns the building of a civilization but ultimately leads to chaos.
Although Ralph reassures the others with logic and order, in the beginning, his influence gradually declines as the island descends into savagery, and he loses his grip on humanity. At the beginning of the novel, Ralph cannot understand why the others would have the feeling of bloodlust and savagery. He is frustrating with the hunters, who are chanting and dancing together. Ralph still remains humanity in the very beginning, and he doesn’t want to be part of the hunter. He tries to maintain the order among the boys, as he has a strong desire to go back to the civilization. As the novel moved forward, Ralph slowly understands that savagery within all the people. “We can light the fire again.
You should have been with us, Ralph. We had a smashing time. The twins got knocked over… We hit the pig…
”(Golding, pg. 69). There is a ship on the sea, which made Ralph happy because people on the ship could save them if they see the signal fire. However, he soon realized that the fire was out. Ralph was angry with the hunters because they won’t lose the opportunity to rescue from the island if the hunters paid good attention to guard the fire. When Ralph found the hunters, he noticed that they’ve killed a pig. As the hunters solved the problem of eating, Ralph calmed himself down and tried to communicate with Jack. Ralph told Jack that the hunters let the fire go out.
Jack, however, is too happy to care what Ralph said about the signal. This part shows Ralph’s logic because only he himself pointed out that setting up the signal fire was a good way to get the attention from the people who traveled through the island. When he realized that they lost the chance to leave the island and return to the civilization, the mood of angry overwhelmed him, which made him have the impulse to argue with the hunters.
However, he controlled his anger and communicates with Jack dispassionately when he knew that the hunters make the contribution to the collective. This truth shows that Ralph still has humanity and his mind still keeps logical. Later on, Jack suggested that Ralph shouldn’t be chief just because he doesn’t hunt. Most of the boys agreed with Jack and joined his group. Although Ralph choose to join Jack’s tribe, his purpose was to save himself but not to join Jack with any hunting. Ralph tried to remain his humanity and not to let the savagery overwhelm him. However, when he first went to the hunting and hunted a boar, he experiences the feeling of bloodlust and violence, which made him happy with it, and he hardly gave up that exhilaration feeling.
“Ralph was full of fright and apprehension and pride ‘I hit him! The spear stuck in—”(Golding, pg.113). Ralph was excited because of the hunting, and he even joined to play the hunting game, which the boys pretended Robert as the boar. “Ralph carried away by a sudden thick excitement, grabbed Eric’s spear and jabbed at Robert with it”(Golding, pg. 114).
When he attended Jack’s feast, he was swept away by the frenzy, dances on the edge of the group. “Lifting his feet high out of the sand, Ralph started to stroll past”(Golding, pg. 149). While Piggy is yelling and dancing, Ralph laughing at him with the whole tribe, and Golding said that “everyone felt cheerful and normal”.
Ralph was overwhelmed by the party and he participates in the killing of Simon. These direct information of the evil that exists within him is tragic for Ralph. Although Ralph is rescued and returned to civilization at the end of the story, he has a new understanding of the human capacity for evil. As a result, he cried when he saw the naval officer. William Golding created some impressive characters through the novel, who were gradually become animalistic from civilization, especially the main character Ralph. He had no ability to change the society on the island by himself.
As a result, he could only adapt himself to the society, which constrains he loses humanity.