Lord of the flies is a novel written by William Golding and dramatizes the conflict that exists between the civilized and savaged through the form of a group of young English schoolboys. The opening chapter is important and effective because it establishes the setting, atmosphere and characterization. We learn about the themes raised in this chapter and the symbols that serve as a pattern for future reference.
Golding’s characters have a depth and are credible in the situation they are put in. Each character has his own fully developed personality. Golding does this while maintaining a certain symbolism in his characters. Each character, while being their own person, symbolizes some idea, but not to the point where the characters are flat. Golding presents the character’s through a chronological order. We first see Piggy chasing Ralph and learn about the background of Piggy and Ralph. When Ralph blows the discovered conch, the other boys trail towards them one by one.
Golding introduces the three main protagonists in the first chapter. Ralph is one of the older boys on the island. He is elected leader because of his quality and is described as being determined, rational and understanding. Jack is also one of the older boys on the island. He starts as the leader of the choir boys, and develops into the leader of the hunters. He is strong, villainous and proud. We are hinted that Jack would become Ralph’s most powerful antagonist; ‘I ought to be chief because I’m chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.’ Piggy is slightly younger than Ralph and is intimidated by his physical figure. He is weak, smart and always being put down by the other boys. He is practical and logical. As Jack turn his rage against not killing the young pig during the expedition, Golding foreshadows Piggy’s own murder at the close of the novel.
In chapter one, the boys, still unsure of how to behave with no adult presence overseeing them, largely stick to the...