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Leadership: Lord Of The Flies

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Comparison of Leaders

Throughout the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding is able to touch on the many aspects of our civilization through the various characters he creates. Leadership plays a very important role in the novel as it does in real life because the characters need to feel some sense of security in order for them to survive. The two main leaders in the story, through their similar and different leadership characteristics and objectives fight back and forth to gain the discipline of the other boys on the island and generally the power to make the decisions that they feel should be made. Both leaders, Jack and Ralph, experience leading the group in their own style, which is similar in their desire for control yet different pertaining to their leadership qualities and their objectives while on the island.
Ralph was amongst the first few characters mentioned in the story and he quickly takes to the role of gathering the surviving boys by calling out to all that are in the area. He believes in leading with a democratic style, which gives people freedom of opinion, as well as equality to all group members. This is seen as Ralph uses Piggy’s idea for the conch to gathers the boys together in order to
Dean 2 express ones ideas or opinions (Golding 12). However, Ralph is not the only boy on the island who is looking to lead the boys, and he finds that out when Jack marches his band members in a militant style to the platform where Ralph is deciding what needs to be done for their survival (Golding 15-16). Jack quickly became a cruel and dominating person who tries to impose fear onto the boys in order to gain his own control. This is evident when he begins opposing Ralph’s ideas about building a fire and picking fruit, to make himself look bigger and somewhat tough (Golding 22). However, a vote is thought up by one of the boys and Ralph’s democratic and orderly style of leadership is elected and he becomes the leader of the group (Golding 19). Ralph begins by organizing the boys to branch off in-groups and work for their benefit, such as keeping the fire going, building huts and scanning the island for anything worthwhile (Golding 38). He believes that if everyone contributes by taking on one of the roles for survival, the entire group will benefit and hopefully be saved. Again, Jack opposes to the ideas of Ralph. He h...

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...ectives by hunting down Ralph, and nearly catch him, until they come across the Navy ship which is there to rescue them (Golding 223-225). Both Ralph and Jack have objectives, which are completely opposite to each other’s which cause for much of the conflict throughout the story.
Throughout the story, Ralph and Jack are two of the characters who probably have the least in common mainly because they are trying to outdo each other by making the others ideas and beliefs seem obscure. They are similar in their desire for control over the group, however they are completely opposite pertaining to their leadership qualities and their objectives. Author William Golding creates these characters as opposites so he could have a general conflict, which is based on man against man to contribute to his other conflicts of man against environment and man against himself. Personal reflections of this author conclude that the bizarre setting and plot are difficult to comprehend upon the first reading yet further readings would create a more enjoyable story to understand.
Dean 7
Works Cited
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Boston, Mass: Faber and Faber Limited, 1958
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