Ralph, Jack and Piggy, the three main characters in the Lord of the flies encounter with each of their different personalities. Despite their similar ages, they take distinct reaction towards their situation because of their different growing environment. In this isolated and uncivilized island especially with no grown-ups, the development of their characteristics varies in different directions. When the events burst out one by one in chapter one to three, we can discover the contrast between Ralph and Jack and Piggy as the role of an outsider.
In the essay, the characteristics of three of them will be discussed, as well as the indication for aggressive Jack among them to be advancing more rapidly toward savagery than the other boys. To start with, Ralph processes the good qualities which include leadership, rational thinking and sensitive mind. Ralph’s leadership is clearly showed in the beginning in chapter one. Piggy and he found a shell which called ‘couch’ in the beach and Ralph blew it. This loud noise gathers the other surviving boys. When election is held to vote for a leader, all of them vote for Ralph except the choir boy.
The reason for him to be chosen is because he is the one who blows and holds the conch at that time and it actually brings order. To them, Ralph is the authority to be respected. He gets a high status to stand for a head to guide their way in this undiscovered environment. His attractive appearance and confidence will surely make influence to their choice too. In chapter two, his ability is also shown in calling an assembly. His purpose is to report what Jack, Simon and he have found in the island and make rules. He gained the applause and respect from announcing that they should be rescue.
He simply says ‘we ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. ’ and obtains others’ agreement including Jack’s. The leadership helps to give directions to the boys. Ralph also gives a rational thinking for their situation. He declares rules to control the restlessness of them. He further suggests keeping a fire burning on the mountain to give a smoke signal to get the notice of the ship passed by. Besides, while the others especially the littluns just ‘off bathing, or eating, or playing’, Ralph keeps on working hard for the shelter with Simon. He tries to make complain to Jack about no one helps and cares bout the shelter. He did not give up to implement the plan they discussed before. Without his logical mind, the boys will not be that organized. Sensitive as Ralph, he can easily detect others’ feeling and needs as well as giving response quickly. The example is he placates Jack with delegated responsibility. He recognizes Jack’s anger and disappointment of being defeated, then assign him as the Head of the hunter. He also sense Piggy’s sadness during the torture by Jack and his own inconsiderate towards Piggy, then, he makes apologize and tries to be more friendly to him.
At the time when ‘beastie or snake thing’ come out from a boy which spread the fear, Ralph make his best to comfort them by saying proving ‘there isn’t a beastie’, such as it’s too dark to see, a beast only appear in big countries and it is a only a nightmare of him in order to try to peace them. It can be seen that he is being caring and concerned after he takes up the responsibility to be a leader. Another main character Jack Merridew gives a strong impression of dominator, as well as his aggressive, impulsive and self-centered personality. His appearance is described as red-haired, freckled, blue-eyed and arrogant.
The domineering reveals first in his way of his entrance with his marching of choir boys. He shouts an order, ? Choir! Stand still! ’, and lead the obedient choir boy. Even the weather is hot; they wear the black caps and cloaks as the uniform and form two parallel line. This proves his authority suppress towards the choir boy. During the election of leader, Jack thinks he ought to be the chief. The result comes out which he does not get the general support, he feels the mortification and disappointment until he can take up the position of the head of hunter.
What is more, he tells Piggy to shut up and says that the couch does not count on the mountaintop. However, he emphasizes about the importance of keeping rules later on, he simply apply the rules which satisfy himself. In addition, he acts excitingly to agree the rules, when Ralph talks about setting fire, he leads the boys to rush up to the mountain to get wood. His action can be described as rash and irrational as he is just as childish as the other boys. It can be concluded that his desire for leading and controlling is strong.
His aggressive and impulsive image can be found throughout the three chapters. On the way of the exploration of the island, he draws his knife to kill the piglet but stops as his inexperience of bloodletting. He is furious afterward and claims that the next time ‘there would be no mercy’ for killing. Besides, he ‘slammed his knife into a trunk and looked round challengingly’ and says they’ll hunt it and kill the beastie which scares the boy. His attitude is fierce. A reflection of savage further uplifts his aggressive quality.
It comes from his way of hunting which is wild, dog-like, he even crouched with his face or sniff the pig dropping. In Jack’s point of view, what he wants is meat and how to hunt the pigs. He gets mad with Ralph for the conflict concerning the priority of hunting, rescue faints in his mind. Despite his role of leading the choir boy, he is not as thoughtful as Ralph. On the contrary, he is self-centered and mean to others. For example, he shows no interest in Simon’s ill condition and totally ignores it. He snatches Piggy’s glasses rudely to start the fire, shouts and taunt him.
He keeps interrupting Ralph’s talking. He concentrates very much on his hunting and put it on the first priority, he is not focusing on the shelter even Ralph reminds him the matter. It leads to the first argument too. Overall, although Jack is an obvious leader to lead the boys, he perform his inconsiderate and selfishness. Piggy has shown intelligence and sensibility in his character. He gets an outlook of short, plump and wears thick glasses which seem not charming. Yet, his rational thinking is notable in the early beginning. He suggests Ralph to use the couch to call the others.
In this island, he is the first to realize their situation and point out the fact that they may be there a long time. He is rational that he follows the rule of the couch, he takes the couch before he says something in the assembly. In the book, he also acts as an adult and has a mature and proper manner. When everyone rushes to the mountaintop for getting fire, he thinks the boys are ‘acting like a crowd of kids’ and ‘watched them with disgust’. He is not considering himself as a kids but a grown-up. Piggy is suffering from Jack’s bullying and torture.
He is weak when Jack grabs his glasses away from his face. While he is strong to speak out the alarming message to them, just like the moment when he is angry about the boys who neglect his words and think it funny. He insists to hold the couch for speaking and point out the importance of a shelter. Among the three of them, it is obvious that Jack’s feature is the closest toward savagery. Apart from the similarity of Ralph and Jack, their leadership, Ralph tends kind and rational, Jack tends aggressive and cruel, their natures differ from each other.
The dispute in chapter three shows their contrasting thinking. Ralph and Piggy who find the couch and organize the meeting are sensitive and rational. They are likely to be the way to civilization. Since both of them prefer a democratic society with discipline. They respect the couch which is a symbolism of order while Jack does not. They are looking forward to be rescued. Ralph and Jack are the opposition in terms of their view point. Jack turns from a choir leader to a hunter, normally, he is having the way to the savagery and primitive living.
These are shown in his behavior, attitude to others and his changing appearance. Especially when they remove their uniform and put on the paints on their bodies, it symbolize that they are abandoning the civilized lifestyles and get farther away from it. Most importantly, they are staying in the island without any grown-up, it means they have to be independent. Their individual personalities are not fixed but can be developed into various states. These evidence support Jack to be more savage than the others, and this may results in more and more quarrels occur because of their diverging opinion and value.