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Characters

Ralph – The largest and most physically powerful boy on the island. Despite his size and strength, Ralph shows no signs of wanting to dominate others and is preoccupied with being rescued. He insists on planning and following the rules, and is able to prioritize the needs of the group above his own selfish desires. For example, Ralph builds the huts even though he dislikes the work, in contrast to the other boys who go off to play whenever they dislike doing important tasks. Ralph feels the exhilaration of hunting and killing, but he always manages to suppress savage feelings. Ralph symbolizes law, government, and civil society.

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Piggy – The smartest boy on the island. Due to his obesity and asthma, Piggy is also the weakest of the biguns. Piggy believes passionately in civilization, law, and reasoning through problems, but he seldom does any work because of his obesity and his nonstop craving for food. Piggy also has a tendency to lecture and criticize. His condescension infuriates the other boys and inspires them to single him out, ridicule him, and even physically abuse him. Piggy symbolizes science and rationality.

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Jack – The head boy of his chorus back in civilization, Jack becomes the leader of the hunters on the island. Jack loves power. Laws and rules interest him only because they give him the chance to punish the other boys and express his dominance over them. He loves to hunt and kill because it gives him a chance to dominate nature. Jack gets angry whenever he doesn't get his way: he believes a proper leader issues orders and is obeyed. By the end of the novel he becomes exactly that sort of leader, wielding power only for his own whim and benefit. Jack symbolizes the human love of dominance and power.

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Simon – A dreamy, dark haired boy, prone to fainting spells and occasional fits. Simon is the only member of Jack's chorus who doesn't become a hunter. The most generous of the biguns, Simon helps Ralph build the shelters not out of a sense of duty, but because he wants to. Simon is also the most insightful and in many ways the bravest of the boys. Only Simon recognizes that the boys carry the beast within themselves; only Simon suggests that they confront the "beast" by climbing the mountain; and only Simon is unafraid when alone in the jungle. Some critics have called Simon a symbol of Jesus Christ, but his symbolic role is actually more general. With his fits and spiritual insights, he stands for the mystics, prophets, and priests of all religions who confront and reveal the darkest aspects of human nature.

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Roger – A quiet, brooding member of Jack's chorus. Roger is at first little more than a mystery, a quiet, intense boy who seems to hide himself from the other boys. But as the trappings of civilization begin to recede on the island, Roger begins to reveal himself, first by throwing rocks at littleuns (and purposely missing), then by killing a pig more viciously than necessary, then by rolling a boulder down on Piggy, then by torturing Samneric, and finally by sharpening a stick on which he plans to stake Ralph's head, just as he earlier staked a pig's head. While Jack loves power, Roger loves to cause pain. He symbolizes mankind's sadistic instincts, the suppressed desire to hurt others.

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The Lord of the Flies – The pig head that Jack's hunters stake into the ground and leave as an offering to the beast. Simon recognizes that the Lord of the Flies is the savage monster buried in everyone. When the Lord of Flies tells Simon "we are going to have fun on this island," it means they're going to indulge every want and desire, without regard to the rules of civilization. The Lord of the Flies symbolizes the evil in all men's souls, and is also covered in the Symbols section.

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Samneric – The identical twins Sam and Eric who do everything together. They so closely resemble each other that the other boys use just one name to refer to both of them. The twins prove to be less influenced by fear of the beast or Jack than any of the other boys (except Ralph and Piggy), perhaps because as twins they're less alone than any of the other boys.

Phil – A littleun who says he saw the beast, though the "beast" turns out to be Simon coming back from the jungle.

Percival Wemys Madison – A littleun who states his name, address, and telephone number whenever he talks to someone older, and who says the beast comes from the sea.

British Naval Officer – An officer on a warship of the British Navy. He believes wholeheartedly that Britain is superior to all other civilizations.

Henry – A littleun at whom Roger throws rocks.

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Maurice – A bigun.

Robert – A bigun.

Bill – A bigun.