English Literature » Notes » Characters in “Lord of the Flies”
Lord of the Flies

Characters in “Lord of the Flies”

Short introduction to the characters in Lord of the Flies

Ralph

He becomes the elected leader of the boys and is the main hero of the book. He is not the smartest or the strongest, but does have charm and good looks. He endeavors to keep the boys focused on domestic order so that they can carry on in a civilized fashion. His authority over the boys dwindles as Jack’s power increases. Ralph becomes a hunted outcast and so does the civilized society he tried to maintain. Ralph represents the civilizing force within mankind as opposed to the savage force symbolized by Jack.

Piggy

He is the intellectual of the party, but because of his asthma and lack of physical presence, he is not taken seriously. He is very loyal to Ralph, as he realizes that the two working together do make a formidable team. Piggy’s death results in Ralph being left alone to fight against Jack’s tribe. Piggy represented the rational side of civilization.

Jack

The leader of the choirboys/hunters, Jack is the militant figure of the group. He is soon absorbed by the thrill of the hunt and places no priority on measures required to secure a rescue. He is disappointed at not being chosen as leader at the start, but soon takes steps to erode Ralph’s hold on the older boys by promoting the myth of the beast realizing that he will be seen as the only boy able to provide security. As the novel progresses Jack becomes increasingly wild and primitive and he shows cruelty to the weaker boys. His behavior is directly related to the murders of Simon and Piggy and Ralph escapes the same fate only through the intervention of a rescue party.

Simon

An important and complex character of the novel, Simon in some respects is the only naturally good character on the island. He represents a blend of both factions present on the island in that he sees the need to care for the weaker members of the group, yet at the same time he has an appreciation for the natural world and its diversity. It is Simon who truly understands the nature of the beast that they all fear in that it is not a creature hiding in the jungle, but is hiding in the subconscious of us all. After atraumatic hallucinating experience with the Lord of the Flies, Simon discovers the parachutist who the rest of the boys had thought was a monster. Before he can convey this information, he is brutally murdered being ironically mistaken for the beast.

Roger

Jack’s second in command is a sadistic and cruel boy who bullies the littluns and eventually murders Piggy by rolling a boulder onto him. He is unique in that he was the only person to single-handedly murder a fellow boy. He is perhaps the one character who undergoes the greatest change throughout the boys stay on the island. Being somewhat subdued at the start of the story, limiting him to teasing some of the littluns, Roger at the end of the tale relishes the freedom he now has under Jack’s rule to carry out his campaign of sadism and terror.

Sam and Eric

These twins show great loyalty to Ralph right up until the end of the novel and it is only through torture that they end up joining Jack’s tribe. They are called Samneric because they are always together and have a tendency to finish off each other’s sentences.

Percival

Perhaps the weakest boy on the island, being bullied by other littluns as well as bigger boys, it is he who introduces the idea of a beast lurking on the island, living in the sea during the day.