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Evil and Goodness Essay

The difference between Jack and Ralph in the book Lord of the Flies by William Golding is simply good versus evil. Some the examples of their oppositions are their ideals of social responsibility’s, individual personality, and their appearance. Ralph and Jacks have something in common: their aversion to each other throughout the book is very apparent.

Jack and Ralph’s first opposition are their ideals of social responsibility. First of all Ralph is very selfless. By this I mean he is generous and helpful. Since Ralph was the leader of the tribe he was always helping people by keeping the fire going and building the shelters even though nobody helped him except Simon. He was also very selfless when at the meeting he let everybody speak including the “little uns”. But on the other side, Jack was very egotistical and self-centered. One example of this is when he was supposed to be tending the fire. But instead of being responsible and mature, he went out to hunt and left they fire untended.

In result, the fire went out leaving the group without a signal. Another example of Jack being self-centered is when during the meetings he wouldn’t accept anybody else’s opinions. When “little uns” would propose their opinion about the “beast”, Jack would instantly shut them down, because he thought he was always right. My opinion is that Ralph was considerately responsible through the book and Jack retained his self-centered ways.

Another one of Jack and Ralph’s differences is their personalities. One of Ralph’s personality traits is that he is sensible, or in other words, he puts things into perspective. An example of this is that he knew the only way to get rescued was to keep the fire going. Instead of going hunting and having fun all the time with the others his priorities were keeping the fire going. Another example of Ralph being sensible or rational is, similar to the fire issue: it is building huts. Ralph knew that building huts is the only way to protect the boys from rain and fowl weather.

But to the contrary, Jack is impulsive. He is impulsive because he does things without thinking. One example of Jack being impulsive is when he puts down Piggy and the other “little uns” without thinking of what he is saying. Also his¬†impulsiveness occurs when he didn’t help Ralph or the others build the huts or keep the fire going, all he did was want to hunt. Clearly the personality differences of Jack and Ralph can be summed up by that Ralph is reasonable and Jack can be very hasty when it comes to opinions.

The third diversity between Ralph and Jack are their appearances. In the beginning of the book everybody has the same appearance: hair still somewhat combed and neat, their clothes wet, dirty and ripped from the plain crash. Ralph, as he progressed throughout the book, tried to act civilized and take baths. Jack’s appearance as he progressed throughout the book was different. He stopped taking baths and was not civilized. Further in the book he and his tribe started putting on face paint when he was hunting.

One characteristic that both boys shared as they advanced through the book was the growth of their long entangled hair. My thoughts on this difference are that Ralph, as he progressed throughout the book, tried to act like he was normal and civilized. But Jack forgot everything he knew that was civilized and acted savage.

This paper has established differences between Jack and Ralph’s social responsibility’s, individual personality, and their appearances. Those all things keyed into what made them different from each other. In the beginning of Lord of the Flies they were never close friends but their mutual dislike enhanced by their differences and stress of the situation made them enemies by the end of the book. That is what the differences of Jack and Ralph produced.


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