The Lord of the Flies: Characters
The leader of the initial group, Ralph is committed to the formality of the conch and keeping the signal fire going. He is voted leader of the group at the first meeting, much to the disappointment of Jack. The two experience a power struggle throughout the book.
Ralph has the charisma to succeed as an effective leader, but is aware that he lacks the intelligence of Piggy. He participates in the tragic killing of Simon, showing that he is susceptible to the same violent tendencies as the others. Despite this, he remains to represent the more civil side of the island.
The leader of the choir, Jack Merridew never gets over not being voted chief on the first day. He immediately becomes obsessed with hunting pigs, to the point where his other responsibilities suffer. His savagery intensifies throughout the novel, culminating in ruling his splinter tribe with an authoritarian fist.
He progresses from hesitant to stab a pig, to ordering his tribe mates to murder. He paints his body like a savage and impales a pig head on a stake. If Ralph represents civility and order, Jack represents brutality and chaos.
Chubby Piggy is the intellectual of the island. He is not much help on the island as far as physical labor due to an asthma problem. Despite this handicap, Piggy proves useful by originating many smart ideas, including the use of the conch and the building of a sundial.
Often the target of ridicule, Piggy eventually is accepted by Ralph, who respects and envies his intelligence. Piggy is crucial for life on the island because his glasses are used to start fires. In the climax of the novel, Piggy is murdered when Jack’s tribe crushes him with a rock.
Roger shows cruelty throughout the novel. He viciously kicks over sand castles, throws rocks at the young ones, and kicks sand in their eyes. He serves as Jack’s right hand man, equaling him in hostility and violence. It is him that pushes the rock off the cliff and murders Piggy.
Later, Sam and Eric warn Ralph that Roger had sharpened a stick at both ends, to impale Ralph’s head like they had the pig.
Sam and Eric
The twins of the group are considered one person. Their names are combined to “Samneric”. The twins are the final biguns to stay with Piggy and Ralph, committed to keeping the signal fire going.
They are later captured, tied up, and tortured into joining Jack’s tribe. While they give the outlawed Ralph food and warn him of the impending hunt, they give up Ralph’s hiding position after pressure from the tribe.
The younger members of the group, they lead distinct lives from the older members. They eat fruit most of the day, not paying attention to ripeness. They get used to stomach aches and chronic diarrhea. The attend the daily meetings for some connection to authority, respect for Ralph, and enjoyment. They agree to help on projects, but bathe all day instead of working them. They have vivid nightmares and cry into the night. They cry often, frightened of the beasts rumored to lurk on the island. One prominent littlun is Percival, who repeats his name, address, and phone number as a connection to his former life.