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The qualities of a good leader are universally accepted. The leader has to have control over his followers. He has to demand respect. The leader also has to be able to persuade his followers to follow him without taking away from his beliefs. A good leader also has to be able to be strong, mentally more than physically. He needs to be able to stand his ground and strongly believe in what he feels is right. A good leader also has to believe in himself. If a leader does not believe in himself, then who will? A leader has to lay out his rules and demand that he and his followers follow them and if not, they will be punished. A leader has to be assertive and does not need to back down from anything. The two main characters in this novel express some of these characteristics, one character more than the other.
The first leader that Golding shows to the reader is Ralph. He is presented to the reader as a handsome young man who is not afraid of anything and likes to have fun. Since he is the one who blows the conch, the boys automatically designate him as "chief." Ralph starts off as a great leader who knows what has to be done in order for survival, knows to assign certain people certain jobs, and knows they need to be rescued as quickly as possible.
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The second leader presented to the reader and the more effective leader is Jack. He came into the novel as the head choir boy. The reader can infer that Jack loves to be the main man in everything he does. He wants to always be number one. He knows how to get others to follow him, and he does that very effectively. He gives the boys what they want. Everyone on the island knows they need to kill and eat the pigs in order to survive. Jack is the one with the knife and he leads the boys to believe the he is more powerful than Ralph. The boys see Jack as their friend who brings them meat and they only see Ralph as a big boss who tries to boss them around. By the boys leaving Ralph and joining the choir boys, they are able to have fun and run wild. Jack knows how to get what he wants and he will do anything to get it. He allows the boys to kill the beast in the woods who actually turns out to be Simon. Then he allows the boys to kill Piggy. They then try to kill Ralph before the officer comes. If it had not been for the officer, Jack would have succeeded in destroying every obstacle in his way. He did not care about being rescued, he did not care who he was hurting, and he did not care who done what as long as in the end they were following him and acknowledged him as the leader. Even though Jack had the wrong intentions, the boys follow him and they do exactly what he wants.
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