Lord of the Flies essay

Lord of the Flies essay

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Importance of Leadership

Leadership is something that stands out in people. In a group, people tend to look to the strongest person to follow. However, the strongest person may not be the best choice to follow. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Ralph and Jack each have leadership qualities. Jack is probably the stronger of the two; however, Ralph is a better leader. He has a better understanding for the boys. He also has more common sense and treats the boys better than Jack.
     Ralph shows that he has a better understanding of the boys than Jack. He knows that the boys need some sort of order on the island in order for them to survive. He starts a simple form of government and sets a few rules for them. Even though they don’t last very long, the fact that he tried to help the group is what makes him a better leader. Ralph’s wisdom and ability to look toward the future also has an advantage over Jack. He has a sense to keep his focus on getting off the island. When the fire goes out, Ralph gets upset because the chance to be rescued was gone as well. Ralph enforces his role of leadership as he gives the boys a sense of stability of an authority figure. He keeps the boys in pretty good order at the meeting by making a rule that they can only speak if they have the conch. Ralph knows that the littleuns are afraid and they need shelter to feel more secure. They work together for a while, but as the time goes on the smaller boys want to go play. They slowly lose all their help until Simon and Ralph are the only ones left to work on them. Ralph knows that this is a necessity and keeps bringing it up at the meetings. Jack, on the other hand, is doing nothing but causing chaos.
     Jack fails to realize that the boys need security, stability, and order on the island Jack was a leader of the choir before the boys landed on the island. These boys, who were in the choir, still want to follow Jack; however, they have no discipline at all. The only thing that is on Jack’s mind is hunting. He doesn’t care about anything else, except capturing and kill the pigs for some food.

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The group of hunters does not like to listen to Ralph either. This leads to the second downfall in Jack’s character.
Jack does not treat the boys with the self respect that Ralph does. The way Ralph treats the boys shows his knowledge of human nature. Ralph makes a better leader because he understands that he is not superior over any of the boys. While Jack thinks that the boys are lower than him, Ralph treats the boys as equals. Ralph understands that the boys, particularly Piggy, have to be given respect. Piggy is the weakest of the group and is treated unfairly much of the time. When Jack hits piggy and breaks his glasses, Ralph calls it “a dirty trick.” This shows Jack’s disregard for other humans, while at the same time shows that Ralph is compassionate and has the ability to empathize with others. Another example would be when Jack gets meat from hunting and he gives everyone some except Piggy. When piggy asks for some, Jack says, “you didn’t hunt.” Even though Ralph and many of the littleuns didn’t hunt, the harsh treatment is directed at Piggy. Unlike Ralph, Jack does not have the ability to understand people. A good leader, like Ralph, takes care of all of his followers.
Ralph has common sense and is able to recognize what is best for the group as a whole. Throughout the whole book, Ralph’s main focus is to get rescued. He tries his hardest to keep the fire going, and when the boys don’t follow him, he becomes very frustrated. Ralph’s determination to get rescued is not for selfish reasons, but for the betterment of the group.
     Ralph becomes frustrated not only because the boys do not keep the fire burning, but because the boys start to follow Jack. Jack only satisfies their short term wants and needs, such as food. However, a good leader should look to the future and plan accordingly, just like Ralph does. Ralph’s main priority, which is getting off the island, is a wiser choice than for the boys to follow Jack. Unfortunately, the boys take the easier choice, which is to hunt and play games rather than keep the fire burning. Had they listened to a better leader, the novel may not have ended as tragically.
Ralph is by far the better leader on the island. He understands the boys need for stability and order on the island. Jack’s way of leading was cruel and met none of the needs. As Jack treated the boys like slaves, Ralph was patient and caring. That shows his ability to take charge and rule in an effective way. Ralph shows his wisdom and common sense by setting his priorities straight with rescue being number one. It is important to choose a leader who will meet the needs of all the people. Lord of the Flies is a perfect example that the strongest person may not always be the best choice to follow.
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