Several characters in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies show leadership potential in the novel, but, because they had or lacked certain character traits, were no effective as leaders. Jack, a very significant character in the novel, shows leadership potential throughout the whole novel. Ralph, also another significant character in the novel shows leadership potential but not as much as he should be, considering he is the chief. Lastly, Simon a very dynamic character does not show leadership traits but does show certain character traits other characters do not. All these characters either show leadership characters traits or do not but they are all effective as leaders or not as leaders.
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This quote explains that Jack wants power but Piggy is trying not to let him be chief. Therefor Jack shows leadership potential shows through violent and verbal actions.
Secondly, Ralph shows leadership potential throughout the novel but in some situations he has no idea what to do as a leader. Toward the end of the novel Ralph does not want to be chief anymore because Jack is taking over as chief. Simon and Piggy both convince Ralph that he should stay chief. A quote from the novel states:
“’You stop talking like that! We get enough trouble, Ralph an’ I’ve had as much as I can stand. If there is ghost-‘ I ought to give up being chief. Hear em’. ‘Oh lord! Oh no!’ Piggy gripped Ralph’s arm. ‘If Jack was chief he’d have all hunting and no fire. We’d be here till we died,’”
Ralph does not realize that Piggy is right. He doesn’t want to admit that he is right about Jack. Ralph does not know what to do after Simon was killed. A quote from the novel shows that he was scared and did not know what to do,”’ Stop laughing like that. Look there ain’t no need, Ralph! What’s the others going to think?’ At last Ralph stopped. He was shivering!” (172). If Jack was in Ralph’s position he probably would have told the others to just get over it. As shown in the quote Ralph has no idea what to do. Ralph shows very good leadership skills when he gives all the others on the island something to do so they could get rescued. A quote form the novel shows that he wants to get off the island no matter what, “’ And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have ‘Hands up’ like at school’” (31). He is very short and sharp with his words. He is also very direct, making everyone listen to what he has to say. Therefor Ralph shows leadership skills, but not as much as he should be towards the end of the novel.