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Ralph is the main protagonist in the novel Lord of the Flies and its two film adaptations.

Character Biography

He is a fair haired boy who gets stranded on a deserted island along with his soon-to-be sidekick Piggy and after realizing there are no grown ups he is impressed but he and Piggy find a Conch and decide to use it as a sign of democracy but discover there are more boys stranded on the island and Ralph befriends one of them Jack Merridew who later becomes the main antagonist. After several arguments Jack and several other boys including Roger finally draw away from the conch and create a tribe that out rivals Ralph's. They settle on Castle Rock where Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric travel. There Ralph and Jack fight. In the ensuing fight Piggy finally dies and Sam and Eric get tortured but Ralph escapes.

By morning Jack and the tribe have a Manhunt for Ralph. After he narrowly escapes it is decided the boys will set the island on fire. But Ralph escapes this too and the manhunt ends by the arrival of a naval officer. Ralph is last seen breaking down and crying at what nature can do. What happens to the boys after this is not explained. 


Ralph can come off as very stern, serious and controlling even if he has completely good intentions. A possible reason Ralph was so controlling of the boys on the island was that he didn't want them killing each other like savages. Ralph ultimately failed to achieve either peace and survival for the boys on the island, since instead his rule and leadership only made the boys decide to turn on and kill him out of suspicion that Ralph was going to steal Piggy's glasses, the only feasible method of creating fire, from them. 

All in all, Ralph's main flaw in his leadership was that he forgot or didn't know that it is human nature to pursue pleasure, happiness and entertainment all the time regardless of the conditions of the environment that person is placed in. The other boys on the island were regressing into a primitive, animalistic nature without the provisions of adult supervision, law enforcement, modern technology and the only way they could have fun on the island was playing and hunting wild pigs all day. In spite of encouraging the boys to have fun on the island, Ralph had erroneously assumed that the other boys would want to get off the island as much as he did, and when Ralph tried signaling the plane (or helicopter in the 1990 movie) for help, only after the plane passed did Ralph realize the boys lost all desire to return home being too indulgent in hunting pigs. Ralph angrily blaming Jack for the lost opportunity to be rescued and pulled off the island is then what divided Ralph and Jack into warring sides. 


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