How Does Golding Present Ralph and Jack’s Initial Response to Life on the Island?

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Golding’s description of the island shows that at first the island seems like a paradise - ‘The shore was fledged with palm trees’ - but when you look closer there are looming dangers e.g. ‘skull-like coconuts’. He creates this feel by using a dual atmosphere in his description. He also uses a lot of symbolism. When Golding describes Ralph, he mentions the ‘snake-clasp’ on his belt. Often, snakes symbolise slyness, betrayal and temptation, so perhaps Golding is foreshadowing behaviour of Ralph later in the book. At the start of the Chapter, Ralph thinks the island will just be a great adventure and is thrilled there are no adults around. We know this as he ‘stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy (and said) “No grown-ups!”’ But as he realises they could be stuck on the island forever, he pulls himself together and organises the meeting, which results in him becoming a worthy, democratic leader. Jack is more serious about the island from the start, as the first thing he says is “Where’s the man with the trumpet?”.The fact that he says ‘man’ shows that he is expecting there to be adults around and when he finds out there aren’t any, he realistically says “Then we’ll have to look after ourselves”. Although both of the boys understand that they could be stuck on the island forever, they don’t realise the dangers that could be lying around the corner. They still think that it’s a bit of an adventure, especially when they go off to ‘explore’ the island. They think its all “Wacco” and “Wizard”. Jack and Ralph are very different though. Jack wants to be leader instead of Ralph – he isn’t willing to vote and says “I ought to be chief because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp”. Ralph delegates jobs to him to make him feel better – “Jack’s in charge of the choir of course”. Jack and Ralph make Piggy feel unwanted. Jack ignores him
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