12 December 2012
When looking at politics, totalitarianism and a liberal democracy are about as opposite as you can get. Totalitarianism is basically a dictatorship whereas a democracy is freer. In a dictatorship everything down to what you can eat is controlled. A democracy is about as free as you can get and you have a say in pretty much everything through the power of voting. All the options you have in a democracy, such as where you live, what your social status is, and what you do with your time is all up to you. In Lord of the Flies, both types of government are very apparent through the two main characters’ actions. Jack is a controlling jerk, who forces kids to be in his group, whereas Ralph, the original elected leader, gives each person a choice and a chance to speak when making decisions. Jack’s leadership, representing totalitarianism, Ralph’s leadership, representing a democracy, and how dictatorship can easily take over a democracy are all very apparent throughout the book. How can totalitarianism, of all government forms, be shown throughout this book? Well, Jack, one of the main characters of the story, begins to show it right from the get-go. When the plane crashes, and Ralph, the eventual selected leader, calls the boys together with a conch, Jack automatically attempts to claim leadership over the boys. He states, “I ought to be chief… because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp,” (Golding 22). This is a simple quote that easily shows the arrogance of a young boy, and of any dictator. Jack believes, like any dictator, that just because he’s had power and a special ability, that he should be crowned supreme ruler. Jack’s arrogant mind brought him great strife throughout the book. Not only is totalitarianism shown throughout the book, but so is a democracy. When Ralph is elected leader, he gives everyone choices. He makes suggestion, but he lets each boy choose for themselves. Ralph...