Characters / Lord of the Flies

Ralph

Played by: James Aubrey (1963 film); Balthazar Getty (1990 film)
A twelve year old boy, and main protagonist of the story. Ralph was the first elected chief.
  • Action Survivor: Despite only being twelve years old, he is surprisingly adept at surviving whilst stranded on the island. This is highlighted by the fact that, even after he becomes the only one on the island not on Jack's side, and thusly opposed by Jack's feral tribe.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Ralph seems to present a mild case of ADHD as he has trouble keeping focus, remembering things and often falls into daydreams. He also got excited when he discovered the island free of adults, but sometimes lost track of what was happening around him.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Ralph is described as fair haired and charismatic. It is implied that this is why the boys immediately selected him as their leader over Jack, because they felt comfortable with him being in charge, despite not knowing anything about him.
  • Berserk Button: Jack is the main cause of his anger outbursts.
  • Big "NO!": Ralph's reaction to Piggy's death in the 90's film.
  • Break the Cutie: Alongside with the twins. At the end, though saved, it's implied he'll never be the same as before he landed on the island.
  • Cain and Abel: Jack and Ralph, symbolic if not literal brothers, are good friends in the beginning, until Jack's jealousy and greed gets in the way and he ends up betraying Ralph and trying to kill him.
  • Catchphrase: Earlier on in the story, Ralph says "Wacco!" quite a bit. He finds himself saying it less and less as the story goes on, due to things becoming considerably less and less "Wacco!"
  • Character Development: Ralph starts out as a happy-go-lucky, naive, immature boy, who enjoys circumstances just as every other regular child and particularly admires Jack for a controlling and abusive personality, while he puts down the mature, altruistic Piggy, in a tentative to act similar to Jack. Becomes quite responsible, gentle and mature during the book, as he befriends Piggy and Simon and learns to be more considerate from them.
  • Cheerful Child: Initially joyous and free-spirited, this being another strong contrast between him and Jack, who is mostly brooding and serious. Ralph also has a light sense of humor, as he plays and often laughs, makes fun of Piggy's nickname just like the rest of the kids, but stops after some time, compared to Jack whose humor is dark, violent and never gets tired of physically and mentally bullying the other boys.
  • Good Is Not Nice: At the beginning, he is like any other regular kid who likes to make fun of the weaknesses of other people, hence he laughs at Piggy's nickname and tells everyone about it. He also insults Simon behind his back and calls him 'queer'.
  • Jerkass Ball: See above.
  • Not So Above It All: The pre-island events Ralph acts pretty similarly to Jack, though he's not nearly as vicious and wicked, but he has his moments. It is one of the reasons he gets along with Jack so well, before he is hit by the reality of the events and especially by the difference between Jack's depraved morality and Piggy's altruistic one.
  • Pretty Boy: Most beautiful out of all the boys, which is one significant reason why he's chosen as leader in the first place. This also has some ambiguous implications.
  • Plucky Boy: Is optimistic and full of life during a great part of the book, until the group starts falling apart. This is what differentiates him from Jack too, as Jack is simply a determinator, mostly being grim and fierce.
  • Team Mom: Along with Piggy and Simon, particularly later, when Ralph becomes more mature and responsible and actually shows his concerns over the littluns. He even bickers with Jack about it, given that they're the boys who are mostly in charge, because Jack doesn't care in the least about the problem.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Transforms from a bratty kid into a considerate, caring boy.
  • The Protagonist: The story unabashedly follows him and promotes him as, comparatively speaking, the heroic character.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: During the island events, Ralph is the Blue Oni to Jack's Red Oni. Jack is passionate, wild, defiant, while Ralph is the calmer one, more sensible and intellectual.
    • Pre-island events, the roles seem to be reversed, as Jack has a harsher and colder nature, while Ralph is quite energetic and perky.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Jack's manly man. Red-haired Jack is aggressive, even downright brutal and loves confrontation, compared to fair-haired Ralph who dislikes violence and is much more of a pacifist. They even practice different activities, as Ralph usually stays in the same place, watching over the younger boys and trying to assure them their safety, while Jack is more dynamic, as he runs around the island and is set on hunting and killing animals.
  • Younger Than They Look: Along with Jack, both boys are 12, but they are described with physiques of older teenagers.

Piggy

Played by: Hugh Edwards (1963 film); Danuel Pipoly (1990 film)
A boy around the same age as Ralph. He is not as well accepted by the other boys due to his specs, asthma, and fat.
  • Acting Your Intellectual Age: He acts very mature and grown up, indicating his high intelligence, but he still occasionally breaks down when things get too much for him.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Without his eyeglasses, Piggy can distinguish light and shadow, large areas of color, and that's about it.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brown hair, and the smartest or at least intellectual, of the cast.
  • Butt Monkey: So very, very much. He's only known by his embarrassing nickname, tormented ceaselessly for being physically unfit, and ultimately killed off unceremoniously.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Towards the climax of the book, he finally musters the courage to shout down Jack's savages and call them on their stupidity and mindless brutality. It provokes Roger to kill him in irritation.
  • Fatal Flaw: His righteousness combined with his enormous physical handicaps made him an easy target for Jack and his minions. His final stand left him completely helpless and easily killed by the boulder.
  • Genre Savvy: Is aware of what's going on and constantly gives advice on the situation, as he has been taught by his aunt. He's also the first boy who realizes Jack's true character as he tells Ralph that he is afraid of Jack and basically hints Jack is going to lead them to their destruction.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Might have been a little more obvious if it weren't a story about boys turning savage.
  • Insufferable Genius: Is highly intelligent, has a great logic for his years and has many ironical lines because of it, which is why he's mostly bullied.
  • Kill the Cutie: He's one of the two boys who get killed in the course of the story.
  • Nerdy Inhaler: He doesn't have an inhaler on the island, but his asthma is clearly supposed to play a part in highlighting him as "the nerdy one".
  • No Respect Guy: It's played for horror in that, despite his intelligence, nobody gives him any respect and ultimately he gets unceremoniously killed by Roger.
  • Non-Action Guy: Piggy's asthma is severe enough to render him unfit for strenuous physical activity.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: It's a rather sad case: he hates his nickname, which was given to him by other boys who teased him at school.
  • Parental Neglect / My Parents Are Dead: Piggy talks about his aunt as if she's his mother, implying that he either spent most of his time with her because his parents were too busy/neglected him, or she was his legal guardian because his parents were dead.
  • Scapegoat: Piggy gets blamed for everything bad that happens on the island.
  • The Smart Guy: Has most logic out of all the boys, while Simon is the most spiritually intelligent.
  • Sour Supporter: Is reluctant about voting for Ralph, given how Ralph acted towards him at first, but he decides he's still better than Jack. He's also skeptical and cynical regarding the behavior of the other boys, particularly Jack's, which is why he becomes Jack's punching bag.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Is the most intelligent, along with Simon.

Jack Merridew

Played by: Tom Chapin (1963 film); Chris Furrh (1990 film)
Another boy about Ralph's age, who wanted to be the leader to begin with, but wasn't chosen in favor of Ralph. Also, the main Villain of the story.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Unlike Roger, who has an obvious case of sociopathy, Jack is more ambiguous, as he has great oratory skills, is unable to get close to people emotionally, has an obsessive personality as he is always set on controlling and dominating everyone, has trouble controlling his anger that leads to destructive behavior and actual chaos, but unlike the actual sociopath profile, Jack briefly shows vague guilt at one point, if his surprise at Piggy's murder is taken as brief compassion. Even though he might have been just surprised by the fact that Roger acted outside of his orders, since he immediately tries to reestablish his authority by attempting to kill Ralph.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Jack wants to be the leader, no matter what it takes, and is portrayed as a psychotic, murderous bully because of it.
  • Arch-Enemy: He serves this role to Ralph, ending up as the Big Bad of the book.
  • Author Avatar: William Golding implied that Jack represented his dark self, particularly his young, teenage self, and admitted that, like Jack, he liked to hurt and bully his peers.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jack's the one that initiated everything that goes wrong; he's the first to provoke the schism by convincing the other boys to abandon the signal fire to go hunting wild pigs with makeshift spears. He then lures the stranded boys deeper and deeper into savagery, from setting up a barbaric totem to placate "The Beast" to stirring up the wild tribal dance that gets Simon killed to finally trying to smoke Ralph out of hiding to spear him to death.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Described as ugly and lanky in the beginning of the book. Both actors, however, are good looking during the entire films.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted at the last moment. Jack had attracted the rest of the children on his side, by the end of the book, leaving Ralph with no followers capable of mounting an effective resistance ("just some littleuns"). There was little to stop Jack killing Ralph, but the timely arrival of an adult rescue party renders Jack's triumph moot.
  • Badass: Even though it's in a destructive and horrific way, Jack Merridew does slaughter wild pigs with his bare hands, is the only one who explores the entire island by himself, learns on his own hunting tactics and teaches the others too, ends up controlling an entire group of boys and makes them commit murder, burns an entire island, and everything at only 12 years old.
  • Big Bad: He has a Face–Heel Turn that we're not even going to bother to spoil. It was pretty obvious.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    BULLOCKS TO THE RULES! WE'RE STRONG-WE HUNT! IF THERE'S A BEAST, WE'LL HUNT IT DOWN! WE'LL CLOSE IN AND BEAT AND BEAT AND BEAT-!
  • The Bully: Towards many of the other kids. Particularly Piggy, who states by the end that Jack frightens him too much.
  • Cain and Abel: Ralph and Jack, symbolic if not literal brothers, are good friends in the beginning, until Jack's jealousy and greed gets in the way and he ends up betraying Ralph and trying to kill him.
  • Control Freak: What ultimately
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: A friendship example, Jack seems to be jealous of Ralph's friendship with Piggy, as he is particularly sarcastic and scornful to Ralph when Ralph mentions or talks about Piggy, dislikes Piggy at first because of his fat and asthma but viciously hates him later without apparent reason and even cruelly beats Piggy at one point, suggesting that this is one of the reasons Jack has come to dislike Piggy so much.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Jack is the only character whose eye color is mentioned and emphasized more than once by the author, especially during the first part of the book, most probably to suggest that something is definitely wrong with him.
    At length he let out his breath in a long sigh and opened his eyes. They were bright blue, eyes that in this frustration seemed bolting and nearly mad.
  • Creepy Child: His bloodlust, brutal "chieftain" behavior, murderous acts and the frequently described crazed look in his eyes deem him as this.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: After he becomes chief, he uses frequent bellowed profanities, insults, taunts and rousing cheers to whip his followers into frenzied obedience.
  • Enfant Terrible: Only twelve years old, but capable of killing wild pigs before graduating to attempt to murder his rival for dominance.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even though Jack hates Piggy, he's still shocked—however briefly—when Roger murders him.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ralph.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He's amused only when he insults other people or when bullies them.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: hot blooded, red-haired and burns the island in the end.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Arrogant and chaotic and yells a lot. Also: "Bollocks to the rules!/You should have seen the blood!".
  • Evil Laugh: Does one along with a savage dance, when he paints himself for the first time.
  • Evil Redhead: Red hair. Evil.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Is capable of acting quite polite, when he wants to manipulate other people, but the key word is "acting."
  • Fiery Redhead: Easily excitable.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He starts out as first a seemingly good candidate for a leader, then a good second in command to Ralph, but he soon switches side to leading his own tribe, and then becomes determined to subjugate Ralph if he can or kill him if he can't.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: In the two films, where his good looks in contrast to the hideous book version, stand in sharp contrast to his savage and murderous behavior.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Almost everything he does is because of his envy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets angry almost over everything, but he particularly blows into full rage when Piggy admonishes him and when Ralph calls him a 'thief' at the end.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Is described as ugly and gangling in the beginning, but the author seems to suggest that puberty starts doing good on him, as he describes him later as a tall boy with muscles and a lean body, who is also one of the physically strongest - if not the strongest- out of all the boys - this also might have to do with the fact that he's made after the Coral Island's Jack Martin, who represented physical strength.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Although it's arguable if he had good intentions to start with, he becomes increasingly brutal and downright murderous as the story proceeds.
  • Hot-Blooded: Reckless and hotheaded, which is why Ralph often gets exasperated with him.
  • Jerkass: Even before he becomes a direct antagonist, Jack is brash, arrogant, demanding, impatient, and generally unpleasant to be around.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: The only real time he showed any compassion was a brief moment after Piggy's death (which he got over rather quickly).
  • Knife Nut: Carries a knife with him that he uses to threaten the other boys with and later to kill pigs, before he replaces it with his spear.
  • Lack of Empathy: Is apparently unable to comprehend positive feelings.
  • Large Ham: He is very loud and prone to flamboyant, braggadocios statements in order to express his feeling of his own importance.
    "I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy.I can sing C sharp."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Insincerely apologizes when Ralph and the other boys start accusing him for his fire mistake, so he can make them like him again. He also manipulates them into joining him through various promises and convincing speeches.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In an attempt to kill Ralph, Jack sets the whole island on fire to smoke him out of the woods. If he hadn't done this, the navy ship never would have noticed the island, the boys would have never been rescued, and Ralph would have been murdered.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Usually smirks or grins when someone is beaten or hurt. He also maniacally laughs when he paints himself for the first time.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: What ultimately brings his downfall; to show off his skills, rather than let the boys survive on fruit, he convinces them to join him in hunting the wild pigs native to the island. This causes them to abandon the signal fire, which means a ship fails to spot them, and leads Ralph to chew him out in front of the boys; this enflames Jack's ego and leads to him causing a split in the group.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Ralph's Blue Oni, respectively; whilst Ralph focuses on the logical things the survivors need to do, such as gathering food and maintaining a signal fire, Jack focuses on "having fun", such as by hunting.
  • Rival Turned Evil: While Jack and Ralph are friends who have some sort of rivalry in the beginning, they become straight-up enemies later on, due to Jack's bloodlust and thirst for power.
  • Sadist: Becomes one during the book.
  • Sanity Slippage: He goes from a normal Jerk Jock character to a bloodthirsty savage willing to smoke out another boy and hunt him down like a wild animal for his own amusement.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: He very quickly goes mad with power when he realizes the other boys are willing to follow him instead of Ralph, demanding to get his own way rather than following the rules that Ralph laid down.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Ralph's sensitive guy. Jack is obsessed with doing vicious and even aggressive things, as he wants to hunt, wants to have his own group of hunters, likes to be violent, always brags about himself how strong and mighty he is, while Ralph is calmer, more sensible and much more of a pacifist.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Is mentioned to be this, as he constantly swears and uses particularly inappropriate words, especially for a twelve years old boy. This is accentuated in the scene where Simon tries to warn them about the beast, because he rudely interrupts Simon and swears so vulgarly that the whole group of boys hysterically laughs about it.
  • The Sociopath: He very quickly develops a taste for blood, and soon becomes willing to kill other boys on purpose.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Has some snarky lines and is described as being the tallest of the boys.
  • Teens Are Monsters: He's technically not a teen, at only twelve, but he's still a murderous, bloodthirsty, violent, self-absorbed, vicious savage.
  • Villainous Friendship: With the whole group of choir boys, but this applies especially to his friendship with Roger and Maurice.
  • Younger Than They Look: Same as Ralph.

Simon

Played by: Tom Gaman (1963 film); James Badge Dale (1990 film)
A boy about the same age as the three mentioned above. Simon is often viewed as the model of purity among the boys.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Is described as being 'always darkish in color', but his eyes are mentioned to be 'bright'.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Just like Ralph, he is prone to daydreams, wandering around and talking about odd tangents.
  • Friend to All Living Things: He's probably the only one of the boys to take time and enjoy the natural paradise of the island. He even adopts a lizard as a pet!
  • Holy Child: Despite his youth, Simon is portrayed as saintly, benevolent, wise and good-natured child.
  • The Heart: "Model of purity".
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He's the only character who seems to never be tempted by the lure of feral savagery, unlike the others.
  • In-Name-Only: The version of Simon in the 90s film loses pretty much all of the mystical and saintly elements of the book version.
  • Kill the Cutie: He's one of two boys explicitly killed during the story.
  • Murder by Mistake: Running into Jack's "feast" whilst they are dancing causes the excited boys to mistake him for "the Beast" and spear him to death.
  • Non-Action Guy: He suffers chronic fainting spells, which makes him incapable of keeping up with the others during more physical outbursts.
  • No Social Skills: Clumsy and quirky, also an airhead, which is why most of the other boys consider him 'batty'.
  • Only Sane Man: In the 90s film, Simon is the only boy who actually thinks to take a source of light into the cave where "the Beast" was supposedly found and see what it actually is: the corpse of a mysterious adult, in a stand-in for the fatally crashed parachutist in the book.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Somewhat with his hallucination of the Lord of the Flies.
  • The Quiet One: He knows that the others consider him "the weird one", so he tends to stay quiet and keep out of the way.
  • Team Mom: He's the oldest boy most concerned with looking after the littluns.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The nicest, kindest, most level-headed and pure-hearted child is one of the first ones to get killed.
  • Waif Prophet: He has an apparently spiritual vision where he confronts "the Lord of the Flies" in the book.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: The way that they're described.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Has a great spiritual intelligence, as he is the only child who realizes the true nature of the 'beast'.

Roger

Played by: Roger Elwin (1963 film); Gary Rule (1990 film)
A short yet aggressive boy who joins Jack's tribe as probably his most loyal follower.
  • Ax-Crazy: Perhaps even more so than Jack. He really likes killing things, to the point that he's the one to murder Piggy, casually pushing a boulder onto his head just because he can.
  • Badass: Same as Jack, does things that most 12 year olds are incapable of and in a bad way.
  • The Bully: Also same as Jack, as he bullied the other kids, particularly the young ones.
  • Breakout Character: Sort of forgettable in the first half of the book, but by the second half you'll remember who he is.
  • Creepy Child: Stoic, unemotional, silent, dark allure. Also a cold-blooded murderer.
  • The Dragon: To Jack; from the beginning, Roger is Jack's most loyal follower, supporting him in everything he does
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Implied to be this, which goes hand-in-hand with his sociopathy.
    Roger remained, watching the littluns. He was not noticeably darker than when he had dropped in, but the shock of black hair, down his nape and low on his forehead, seemed to suit his gloomy face.
  • Enfant Terrible: He's the first boy to join Jack in hunting the pigs, and eagerly follows him down the dark path that ensues. He actually leads Jack into the climax of the book by casually killing Piggy just because he can, giving Jack the inspiration to do the same to Ralph.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Follows Jack down the path of darkness.
  • Goth: His dark attitude, fascination with blood and gloomy appearance all suggest this trope.
  • It Gets Easier: His heartless acts slowly increase until he finally murders Piggy by pushing a boulder on top of him.
  • Lack of Empathy: He never shows even the slightest sign of guilt or remorse for the killings.
  • Psycho Supporter: He's Jack's loyal supporter, but probably even crazier than he is.
  • The Quiet One: He doesn't say much at all, which is why he's kind of forgettable. Actions, in his case, truly speak louder than words.
  • Sadist: He will kill and maim without a faintest hint of reluctance.
  • The Sociopath: Like Jack, he shows a sincere enjoyment for killing things and spilling blood.
  • The Stoic: Rarely shows emotion or speaks.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The most bloodthirsty and murderous of the boys, and fairly close to their pre-teens age.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Jack and Maurice mostly, but also other choir boys.

Sam and Eric

Played by: David Surtees and Simon Surtees, respectively (1963 film); Andrew Taft and Edward Taft, respectively (1990 film)
A pair of twins, and the youngest of the major characters. They do everything together, and are usually referred to as Samneric.
  • Action Survivor: Of all the characters who are portrayed sympathetically, only the twins and Ralph survive.
  • Break the Cutie: The way they are tortured by Roger and forced into Jack's tribe.
  • Half-Hearted Henchman: They don't really agree with Jack's savagery, they simply bow to his will in order to survive.
  • Single-Minded Twins: They can't do anything apart, and are thereby treated as one person.
  • Those Two Guys: They're always seen together.

The Lord of the Flies

Played by: N/A
A demonic hallucination that Simon sees in the forest that manifest itself via the impaled pig's head the kids leave as offering to the monster.
  • Breaking Speech: Gives one to Simon about the evils of human nature and other unpleasant things going on with the boys.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Aside from his epic philosophical "Reason You Suck" Speech, he precedes the murder of Simon and the downfall of their "government"
  • One-Scene Wonder: He only shows up in a single scene in the middle of the book.
  • Satan: Is basically portrayed as this, or at least using this sort of archetype. For added measure, its "name" is taken from one of the titles/translations of Beelzebub, a powerful devil often connotative with Satan himself.
  • The Sacred Darkness: In a very, very twisted sense. The Lord of the Flies represents the inner savagery present in mankind, but in a way it is portrayed as something not actively evil in its interaction with Simon, its horrific visage pretty much informing him about its true nature and inspiring him to inform the others. Pity not everyone's so introspective...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/LordOfTheFlies