“Great power involves great responsibility”. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding represents leadership and savagery through the characters of Ralph and Jack. The two boys are fighting for leadership and power. William Golding shows the characteristics of the two boys in a very interesting way. Throughout the book, Golding lets us explore the characteristics of the characters and how they handled given power and leadership.  In the beginning of the book, everyone democratically votes Ralph to be the leader. Ralph is the responsible one out of all the boys and throughout the book there are many examples of his being a responsible leader. The first example would be when Ralph is trying to find a way to be noticed by a ship so they  could be rescued and he says “I’m chief. We’ve got to make certain (that there is no beast). Can’t you see the mountain? There’s no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?” But the thing is that he is learning that saying he’s “chief” all the time is not going to be convincing, he would have to force people to follow his orders and rules.  He was smart and responsible enough to know what to do in order to create a signal but unfortunately that didn’t work. Another example would be when ralph picked up the conch so he could have the power to speak, “Shut up,” said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things.” and the boys say, “A chief! A chief!” This is because after Piggy finds the conch and realised it made loud sounds, all of the boys had an agreement to whoever holds the conch in the meetings has a right to speak. What power the conch really aquires is made clear when Golding describes the situation after Ralph was elected leader. So ralph gained the power to speak when he held the conch. This rule is made by Ralph through Piggy to show that the conch stands for law and order. These assemblies are important, because that is where the conch is used as the tool of power, since everyone listens to the holder of the conch and has to wait for their turn to speak. The person who had mandate over this tool of power had a big advantage over everyone else. Ralph sort of had the power with and without the glasses, but obviously had more with. He had this much power because he had Piggy in his team. But later on in the book, the systems of power change when Jack decides to steal Piggy’s glasses because he know they are important and powerful and will help him become the leader. This makes him the new lord of the fire and gives him power because he has one of the important tools that Ralph and piggy don’t have  anymore which therefore reduces their power. Jack’s personality is very different from Ralph. He is a jealous, violent boy who craves power and eventually seizes it from Ralph throughout the book. He also loves to hunt and kill. Ralph as you can tell by now, is the more responsible and civilised one while Jack falls under the more savage side. There are multiple example in the book that proves Jack is an irresponsible savage leader. The first example would be when Jack says “You’re no good on a job like this.” “We don’t want you,” said Jack, flatly. “Three’s enough.” Jack is telling Ralph this because he think he is way better than ralph in being a leader. The both of them want declare authority over piggy but piggy is in Ralphs  team. Thing  Ralph tries to explain his  reasons on why he is a good leader while Jack brings insulting into the matter on why he is a bad leader. As you can already tell by the first example, Jack cannot take the fact the Ralph is chosen to be chief, Jack wants all of the power even though he is pretty rude to everyone but his tribe. Another example would be when Jack was telling Ralph about how bad of a leader he is “”And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing—” “I’m chief. I was chosen.” “Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don’t make any sense”  You can see that jack clearly wants to be a leader and he thinks just things like hunting will make him leader. He says these things to Ralph because he doesn’t appreciate the fact that he was chosen. If you haven’t gotten it yet, Jack pretty much represents sort of an autocratic government, where power is specifically taken, and Ralph represents a democratic government, where power is given. You can see that Jack isn’t nearly as responsible as Ralph and thinks that he can gain the power by just showing off and hinting, unlike Ralph who is actually working hard to get rescued and being a good leader but little does Jack know, great power comes with great responsibility therefore Ralph deserves it. Ralph and jack are the two most powerful characters in the novel. They were each both given the opportunity to have the power even if they used it differently. Jack isn’t quite an effective character because of how obsessed he becomes with hunting. He doesn’t care about anything but himself. Even when he gets the meat after the hunt, he is rude and humiliates piggy about about eating. When Ralph thinks his decisions are right, Jack is always angry and wants to create some sort of fight. This can be an example of the quote ” Jack began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling”, “We want Meat” and “Kill the pig, cut her throat, spill the blood”. Since Ralph isn’t like this, he usually has abilities to do things like make rules and protect the others like piggy and the littluns, which show he is responsible. He has the ability to make shelters and signals which also show he is more responsible than jack because he can do more than just hunt. Even though Ralph is not the most successful leader, he does not manipulate the rest of the group like Jack does and his intention on the island was not to hurt anyone, it was to keep everyone safe until they get rescued of the island.  By reading about the characteristics of these 2 characters, you should have gotten a gist of what their like. These 2 characters are great examples of what it takes to be a leader. If you are given the responsibility to do something or even the = power, you must use it sensibly. We must exercise power in a responsible way because power can control other people and lead to making an impact on a big group. Power is the ability that anyone has and this power can come or show in many ways for example presidents, parents, etc. If we use responsibility and power on people other than ourselves, then everyone has the advantage from the power that the people above them have. Lord of the flies is a great example of this as the  two boys who were given the opportunity to have power and the way each of them used this power was lying in their hands. It is their fault that they didn’t use it wisely at times but at the end of the day whether its them or not, power is lying upon us, all  of us.

Post Author: admin


I'm Irvin!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out