When one reads a book the names of the characters don't often stand out as anything of particular interest. Like making a new acquaintance, it is common for the reader to just accept the name as a label for that person and not think there is any underlying meaning. However, when one analyzes the names of the characters in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, they are bound to see that the label's for these boys were chosen with special consideration by Golding. The meaning of each name is significant as it directly relates to the personality of each character and fits into one of several themes in the novel. Two of the major themes in Lord of the Flies are the ideas of good vs. evil and innocence. Golding has several characters in the book that fit under each broad category and as the names show, have specific traits that put them there. .
Readers are quick to treat novel characters like other people and immediately upon their introduction, the reader often can begin to decipher the kind of person that she or she is reading about and will make no hesitation to like or dislike the character very quickly. Looking at the characters in the novel that represent the idea of "good-, one can see that the actions of each boy are directly related to the name that Golding assigned them. Ralph, a twelve year old, is the first character Golding introduces. Any reader would like Ralph from the minute they meet him. Golding describes him as handsome and strong like a boxer. Once Ralph realizes there are no adults on the island he has no worry in the world, but rather, strips down and begins to swim in the lagoon. Ralph immediately shows his belief that someone will come to rescue the boys and because of this display of confidence in his words, posture, and ability to blow a conch shell, Ralph becomes a leader on the island. It is interesting to note, therefore, that the meaning of the name, "Ralph- symbolizes: good, positive leadership, responsibility, dedication, survival, and means counsel'.