In the first two chapters of Lord Of The Flies, W.Golding introduces us to two characters and shows how they begin to organise themselves. He also shows how the different characters have very different attitudes toward the situation and lead for organisation.
In the beginning of the novel we are introduced to the first characters: Ralph and Piggy. Ralph is wandering through the forest and Piggy is running after him. You would expect after a plane crash to not have any care in the world apart from how do they get off the island, but Piggy doesn’t. “The fair boy stopped and jerked his stockings with an automatic gesture which made the jungle seem for a moment like Home Countries” Piggy has his own habits and even though he is stranded he still thinking of his habits. Together Ralph and Piggy discuss what has happened and Ralph decides that the only thing matters, “No grown-ups!”
It shows that Ralph isn’t bothered and Piggy is smart and observing. “When we was coming down I looked through one of them windows… there was flames coming out of it.”
As they talk Ralph has the simple instinct that Piggy is obsessed by his Auntie and puts him straight ” My Auntie-… Sucks to your Auntie.” At this point it is obvious that Ralph is in charge.
It is all fun and games until Piggy thought through the situation and came across that there should be other boys on the island. It just so happens that Ralph finds a conch while they are playing. Due to Piggy’s observational skill he remembers that he had seen one before on someone’s back door and it is blown to produce a tremor sound. Piggy announces to Ralph that it can be used to call the others. This is the first bit of organisation in the story, and Piggy produces it. The first sign of organisation is finally shown but before it was all fun and games on the beautiful island. W.Golding describes the island in beautiful detail and wonder. It relates to the story Coral Island by R.M Ballantyne. “The white surf flinked on a coral reef, and beyond that the open sea was dark blue.” But it is also seemed to be evil. “The place of terror.” There are two contrasts of the island and one side is that animals, mountain and darkness. Yet there is pink rock, palm trees and butterflies. “Scratched by thorns…At last the way to the top looked like a scramble
Over pink rock, no more plunging through darkness.”
The conch that was found by the two boys is used as a symbol of authority and action. It is seen as a peacemaker and like a king. “Most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch.” The boys respect it and listen to whoever holds it. It has its own rules and some times they change. “The conch doesn’t count on the mountain”
The reason why they change is usually because piggy is holding it. “We ought to have rules” before now the boys had been listening to what Ralph had told them to do, almost, but there were no rules so the boys didn’t know whether they were breaking them or not. A lot of the time there is always one person shouting out but then Ralph gives them a look and they are quiet. This is a large symbol and people believe in it. If they ever need to argue the innocent ones have it with them “I got the conch…I got the conch in my hand… I got the conch!” Piggy relates to the conch and carries it everywhere. The break through was the conch is musical and produces a powerful noise.
After all the boys come out of the bushes, after being signalled to by the conch, there is a meeting. Piggy tries to find out all of the names. He is the only sensible one at the moment; coming up with all the ideas and Ralph just goes along with it. The other main character is “I’m jack Merridew.” The biggest piece of organisation is the voting of chief. Jack is bossy and spoilt. He feels he should be chief. “I ought to be chief.” But the others think different and Ralph is voted to be chief. They are being civilised so far and are using the voting system and a leader. All the pieces of organisation are being put together to be the most organised they have been. Jack is the leader of his choir and feels that it is his position to control everyone.
Ralph is sensible, down to earth and not big headed. The argument goes on “Your talking to much…shut up!” Because jack isn’t leader he is mortified. He thought that everyone loved him but they don’t. Jack only thinks about hunting and isn’t sensible about it. Ralph thinks through things before doing them. “Hunters!” After the first meeting, Ralph’s first big decision is to go exploring. Organisation is very important with the exploring due to so far Golding has shown us that the island may seem beautiful and paradise, but it is actually very nasty, with all the spiky rock and thorns. Yet they haven’t realised that yet. Although all their efforts to be civilised and help each other are destroyed by the argument with piggy wanting to come exploring. They handled it very horribly and immaturely. “We don’t want you!” I could have been handle more sensitively.
On the exploring they think about maps and paths but they have no paper to write or draw a map on. They use the knife to mark trees, which could be organisation, but Golding has not told us how they are marking them. The paths that are made look human but are actually made by animals. They become a little scared, but they just shake it off. When they find the squealing pig they think of hunting, and killing. They make out to believe they are macho and can handle blood and a knife descending into flesh of a living thing, but they can’t. “I was going to…I was just choosing a place. Next time…!” It shows us that the boys will try to be organised to find and hunt down prey and prepare it well and feed. Sharing the food out evenly will be difficult, because they will think of rank and the lower rank will eat less. “I ought to be chief… I’m chapter chorister and head boy…I can sing C sharp.”
At the next meeting they decide that the only way to be rescued is to light a big fire, which the helicopters can see. But the organisation runs over board and everyone is so eager to help they stuff it up. All the boys run off like kids and are screaming and shouting. “Like kids…like a crowd of kids!”
Piggy seems mature and doesn’t run. He is like an adult inside a human body, mature and level headed. At the top of the hill the boys started to collect wood. They are behaving and working together to carry logs and branches. Golding is saying that this is not suspected from twelve year olds and they will not usually work like this by “with unsuspected intelligence…”
Piggy hasn’t helped but he is carrying the conch. The fire is a large lump on the top of a hill, which is covered with long grass. They were in too much a hurry, they never thought of how they were actually going to light the fire. “You rub two sticks. You rub… Has anyone got any matches?” But the good thinking of jack came up with an idea of using Piggy’s specs, to magnify the suns rays. It worked fortunately, but the fire spread, due to the grass and all piggy did was stand back and laugh. “You got your small fire all right.” They never thought through what the task involved and whether it was safe. The fire was no good. The fire burned the wood, a waste of wood and time. “That was no good!” It didn’t make any smoke. From the mistakes they learn that they are going to have fire watch and have a schedule to change the patrollers. Jack is perusing the thought that they are not savages and they must hunt! “We’ve got to have rules…we’re not savages, we’re English.” But they are savages so far. The organisation has been very transparent and patchy so far. Arguments are still rising “You shut up…Jack turned fiercely.”
Ralph, a fair haired and bright thinking boy. Ralph from the very start has been the leader and still is. He Says things the way he is and doesn’t lie. “We may be here for a long time.” At the beginning of the story, Golding says ” The was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil.” Ralph is kind and innocent and thinking of others. He is like a wild boy. He speaks correct English “Daddy taught me. He’s a high commander in the navy.” He bosses Piggy around and teases him about his name but Piggy did drop himself in it though. “Piggy, Piggy…Piggy, Piggy!”
He is a natural leader and takes consideration to others though. “Get my clothes” Once Jack the other leader comes into the story line, his attitude changes a bit. He is nicer and fights for attention, in a way. “He was intimidated by this uniformed superiority and the offhand authority of Merridew’s voice.” When they are electing leaders he isn’t saying, ” I ought to be chief!” like jack but he is being silent. He knows that people stand by him and support him, until jack becomes the lively favourite. “Ralph was left holding the conch, with no one but Piggy.” He is still the known leader when the second chapter comes to an end but he has also given some authority to Jack as Kindness and Sympathy. “Ralph look at jack, eager to offer something… The choir belongs to you of course.” He felt sympathetic of the fact that he was leader and jack hadn’t been. He isn’t bitter and always thinks positively. He thinks differently to others around him. “But there isn’t a beastie!” He is the one that usually put the ideas to practice and is the most realistic out of all of them. He isn’t a child like character and he doesn’t just run off, at the sound of fire! “Like a crowd of kids” He is the most organised.
Piggy is a fickle character and he is always getting in the way or getting shouted at by someone. He always thinks of the ideas but gets Ralph to do them for him. “We can use this to call the others” He isn’t the most able characters due to his asthma and his size which does put him down. He looks up to Ralph as a leader and stands by Ralph when the others desert him. He tends to have fights with jack and they shout at each other. The one time he stands up for him self he is put down by jack and he really dislikes Piggy. He got in the way when he wanted to come exploring, but he was not welcome to join the trip. “We don’t want you!” He is also innocent which doesn’t help his communication with the others. He is used and he can’t really stand up for him self. “Use Piggy’s specs.” William Golding is making the readers feel sorry for Piggy and sympathise for him, by making everyone be nasty to him. He does get hurt and it effects the way he thinks. When the huge argument between Jack and Piggy happens Piggy blurts out all his ideas that should have been done but haven’t been. “Just you listen. The first thing we should have done was to have made shelters done by the beach.”
Piggy stays organised even when the others are disobeying the rules. “I got the conch!”
Jack is the least organised of the lot. He rushes into things like it is all a game and they have to hunt down all preys and the weather will be perfect and warm. He doesn’t realise what is going on at the start. He manly thinks about hunting, nothing else, just hunting. Once piggy had thought of the ideas for the shelters at the end of chapter 2, Jack felt patronised in a way because, Piggy seen to be a useless person came up with all the ideas and jack didn’t. He is given a lot of his responsibilities on a plate. “Of course the choir belongs to you…” Ralph felt sorry about winning the election and so out of sympathy he gave the choir to him. He doesn’t help the situation by arguing non-stop, and he can very ignorant at times. In the story he had to kill the pig, but couldn’t, could have supplied food for everyone but he didn’t have the guts to kill it. He doesn’t like being under rules or under control by someone else e.g. Ralph. He can be disobedient and that’s what will disrupt the group later on. If he was on his own on the island he would probably die, due to self-obsession, not being organised enough and stupidity. He isn’t the most responsible person to put on a desert island and with not much chance of being rescued.
Over all I feel that the characters have been made to clash attitudes. Golding has made them have rival egos. The fact that they learn from their mistakes and once they know what the mistakes are they do what they were meant to do. If Piggy was the leader I think they would have much more done by now, but they will argue much more. If I was put on a desert island I would be as organised as possible because it’s a life or slow death situation. They are organising themselves fairly well and not being too stupid. They are relaxing and taking this situation as an every day thing, but it isn’t. They are twelve and under, surviving in the contrast of situations, it is impressive but their behaviour isn’t. Because they are so young and they have never been in the surroundings before it is like a dream, a adventure, but soon they will not be so lucky and disasters will occur. It was very careless about the little boy dying, so they should have been more organised and not run off. They have all the time in the world to make a fire; there was no need to run. They have done well but the situation will get harder.