The ability to create characters of depth plagues many a contemporary writer. Many of those writers should look to William Golding for expertise on this issue. Golding diverges from the path of contemporary authors and sets an example of how character development should be accomplished in his novel, Lord of the Flies. Golding’s Ralph exemplifies this author’s superior style of character development in this novel.
At the commencement of the novel, the author introduces Ralph as an innocent boy far from adulthood. Almost immediately, Ralph is described as a “fair boy.” This phrase indicates a stereotype of the perfect child–blonde hair and blue eyes with blemish-free skin–which the author manipulated to show innocence. Also, Golding used this to give the reader a feeling of Ralph’s position on the scale of maturation. It guides the destination of the novel and how much Ralph needs to grow to attain complete maturity. Ralph’s innocence is further implied when he says his daddy is “a commander in the Navy” and that “when he gets leave, he’ll come rescue us.” Clearly, Ralph’s comments call attention to his inability to view matters, especially his current situation, realistically, and to show Ralph’s simplistic thinking, as well. Later in the novel, Ralph views Piggy as a fat bore with “ass-mar” and “matter-of-fact ideas.” Ralph is still at the point where he believes that he is on a schoolyard playground where teasing and handstands are an acceptable practice. Similarly, Ralph’s thoughts are intended to show what a sheltered child he has been all his life. Thus far, Golding developed Ralph so that the reader interprets him as an ideal child without any indication of maturity. The author will build upon this to transform Ralph as a character and as a person.
As the climax approaches, Ralph begins to mature slightly as chaos erupts. After Ralph discovers that a ship passed while the fire was out and Jack is culpable, Ralph confronts him and rather than acquiescing to Ralph, Jack takes out his anger, physically on Piggy, the only person at that time intimidated by Jack. Ralph responds by saying Jack’s tantrum is a “dirty trick” and tells them to light the fire. All this infers that Ralph is becoming less gregarious and a bit more serious. He shows maturity when he takes up for the underdog and does not go along with the majority.
The Importance of the Tutor in The Flies
The Importance of the Tutor in The Flies
In Jean -Paul Sarte’s play, “The Flies”, the main character Orestes manages to lift a curse that has plagued the dwellers of Argos for decades. Both the current king of Argos and Zeus himself are perpetuating this curse for as long as possible for the curse keeps the people subservient and in a state of mourning and terror of their own actions; two things that both the king and Zeus favor in their rule over people. Orestes was actually a resident of Argos and is the first child of the Queen Mother and the dead king. He returns to Argos with a traveling companion, the Tutor, who used to be the child’s teacher in the ways of the world. Now the man is Orestes’ slave and close advisor. Orestes’ stance towards the Tutor and their past relationship essentially effects his ability to break the curse in Argos.
In a completely literary sense he was both a counselor for Orestes and a sort of Narrator to fill in holes in dialogue and the story line. Orestes’ background was the foundation for his decision-making in this play and Sartre had to find a way to let the audience know what this background was, not only for a linear and complete plot, but also as a testament to the thoughts themselves. The Tutor completed his role in both senses, tying the plot together at the beginning and the very end, and also moving the story along with gifts of advice and observations to Orestes. He almost in a sense doesn’t belong in the play. He is a complete contrast to all of the other characters other than maybe Orestes himself. And yet he seems to be a part of Orestes, like his conscious, his voice of reason in this whole tribulation. As a character, the Tutor is much more complicated than one might assume upon first glance.
The Tutor as a person was fairly simple in his wisdom and ideas. He had no delusions, no emotional or religious ties, and no ‘truth’ other than simple and deductive logic. As for personality traits, he was a skeptic, an atheist, and help a kind of detachment from the world and it’s people. He is an admitted skeptic of the world, telling Orestes that he had “been trained in skeptic irony” (61).