Lord of the Flies: Jack and Ralph Comparison

Topics: Leadership, Nazism, Political philosophy Pages: 5 (1728 words) Published: October 11, 2010
“Jack made a rush and stabbed at Ralph’s chest with his spear. Ralph sensed the position of the weapon from the glimpse he caught of Jack’s arm and put the thrust aside with his own butt. Then he brought the end round and caught Jack a stinger across the ear. The were chest to chest, breathing fiercely, pushing and glaring.”(196). Two strong types of leadership can lead to devastating outcomes. This is shown in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Ralph and Jack have two very different types of leadership that are at different ends of the spectrum. The qualities of Ralph and Jack are different, Jack’s beliefs contrast those of Ralph, and the styles of leadership that Ralph and Jack use are as different as night and day. To begin, it takes different qualities to make a leader. Some of these qualities include sensibility, responsibility, and maturity. First, sensibility is very important when it comes decisions. Jack explains, “I am going off by myself.”(140). By making rash decisions, Jack is showing the lack of sensibility in his leadership. Ralph tells the boys, “I’ve been along. By myself I went, think what’s what. I know what we need. An assembly to put things straight.” (84). Ralph, using common sense, makes his decisions wisely and does what he thinks is best for all of the boys. Second, to be a strong leader one of the qualities you must obtain in responsibility. Ralph shows responsibility over Jack. Responsibility being accountable for one person’s actions. Ralph shows responsibility when he stands up for Piggy when Jack and his tribe takes his glasses. Ralph was somewhat at fault for creating the two different tribes, so when Jack’s tribe takes Piggy’s glasses for fire, he takes responsibility for his actions and goes to retrieve the glasses. Jack does not show responsibility because he does not take accountability for his actions. Jack only cares for himself so when he takes Piggy’s glasses, he does not give them back, even when Ralph tries to ask for them. Finally, in order to become an effective leader, you need a high level of maturity. Ralph is mature because he puts the boys over himself. While

the boys are out playing, Ralph is building huts for the boys to live in. This demonstrates maturity because Ralph could be out playing instead of looking out for the other boys on the island. Jack proclaims, “Serve you right if something did get you, you useless lot of crybabies!”(88). Jack does not care for anyone other than himself. So by Jack wishing on the boys that the beast will get them, he is showing a high level of immaturity. Maturity, responsibility, and sensibility are very important when it comes to being in an effective leadership position. Next, Jack and Ralph have different types of leadership styles. Ralph believes that survival skills are is needed to get off of the island while Jack believes that all you need to do is hunt and have fun to survive. To start off, Ralph believes that smoke is one of the key elements to get off of the island while Jack believes that hunting is the most important thing in survival. Ralph explains, “We can help them find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on the top of the mountain. We must make a fire.”(37). Ralph is using his survival skills to try and attract attention to the island so they can get rescued. Jack says to Ralph, “We had to have them in our hunt.”(73). Jack had just let the fire out because he took the boys that were on fire watch and took them hunting. A boat had passed by while the fire was out and they were out hunting. By Jack choosing hunting over the fire being lit, he is showing that he cares more about hunting that survival. Next, Ralph believes that shelter is another important item in survival. As opposed to Jack who just wants to hunt all day and have meat. Ralph says, “And I work all day with nothing but Simon and you come back and you don’t even notice the huts!”(55). Ralph is complaining...

Bibliography: Golding, W.(1954). Lord of the Flies: Faber and Faber Limited
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