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The Importance Of Leadership In Lord Of The Flies

1214 words - 5 pages

The Importance of Leadership in Lord of the Flies      


There are always people who, in a group, come out with better qualities to be a leader than others.  The strongest people however, become the greater influences which the others decide to follow.  However, sometimes the strongest person is not the best choice.  Authors often show how humans select this stronger person to give an understanding of the different powers that people can posses over others.


 In William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies Ralph though not the stronger person, demonstrates a better understanding of people than Jack which gives him better ...view middle of the document...

  When Ralph says, "I'll give the conch to the next person to speak.  He can hold it when he's speaking."  (Golding 36) he enforces his role of leader by making rules and gives the boys the stability of an authority figure, mainly himself.  By doing this he wins the boys respect and confidence in his leadership abilities.  Ralph uses his authority to try to improve the boys' society.  By building shelters he demonstrates his knowledge of the boys' needs.  When he says to Jack, "They talk and scream.  The littluns.  Even some of the others." (Golding 56)  he is referring to why the boys need shelters.  They are afraid.  Ralph understands that by building the shelters, the boys will feel more secure.  This illustrates his superior knowledge of people, which makes him a better leader than Jack.  Jack fails to realize the boys need security, stability and order in their society. 


       Ralph's treatment of the boys also demonstrates his knowledge of human nature.  While Jack considers the boys inferior to himself, Ralph treats the boys as equals.  Ralph's superior leadership qualities are reflected in his constant defence of Piggy.  Piggy is the weakest of the group and is therefore treated unfairly much of the time.  When Jack hits Piggy and breaks his glasses, Ralph calls it "A dirty trick." (Golding 78)  This shows Jack's disregard for other humans; while at the same time demonstrates Ralph's compassion and ability to empathize with others thus illustrating his understanding of people.  Ralph's "government" is a form of democracy which gives each boy equal rights and an ability to express themselves.  Jack treats the boys, especially Piggy, as inferiors.  When Jack gets meat from hunting, he gives everyone some except for Piggy.  When Piggy asks for some, Jack says, "You didn't hunt."  (Golding 80)  Ralph and many of the littluns did not hunt, yet only this treatment is directed at Piggy.  Jack's contempt for Piggy shows his inability to understand people, as a good leader would take care of all of his followers.  Ralph possesses this knowledge and is therefore a better leader because of it. 



       Ralph's common sense and ability to recognize what is best for the group as a whole...

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