Lord Of The Flies, Comparison of Ralph and Jack


Of The Flies, Comparison of Ralph and Jack

There are always people who, in a group,
come out with better qualities as 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, in order to give an
understanding of the different powers that some 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 which
gives Ralph better leadership qualities than Jack.

Ralph displays useful human qualities as
a leader by working towards the betterment of the boys' society. He knows
that in order to stay civilized the boys need stability and order. He creates
rules and a simple form of government to achieve this order. Ralph understands
that the boys, particularly Piggy, have to be given respect and must be
treated as equals. This makes Ralph a better leader, as he is able to acknowledge
that he was not superior to any of the other boys. Ralph's wisdom and ability
to look to the future also make him a superior leader. Ralph has the sense
to keep his focus on getting off the island. He insists on keeping the
fire burning as a distress signal. Ralph's leadership provides peace and
order to the island while Jack's leadership creates chaos.

Under Jack's rule, the boys become uncivilized
savages. They have no discipline. Ralph, however, keeps the boys under
order through the meetings, which he himself calls. At these meetings a
sense of order is instilled because the boys have to wait until they hold
the conch to speak. When Ralph says, "I'll give the conch to the next person
to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking." (Golding 36) by making such
rules as these, and by giving the boys the stability of an authority figure,
mainly himself, he enforces his role of leader. 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. Jack fails to realize the
boys need security, stability and order in their society. 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


Ralph's treatment of the boys demonstrates
his understanding of how people should be treated. 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) Ralph's compassion and ability to empathize
with others thus illustrating his understanding of people; while at the
same time demonstrates Jack's disregard for other humans. 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,
while a good leader would take care of all of his followers. Ralph possesses
this understanding and is therefore a better leader.

Ralph's common sense and ability to recognize
what is best for the group as a whole further demonstrates his superior
leadership skills. His main focus throughout the book is getting rescued
and he puts much emphasis on this. He instructs the boys to make a fire
and to keep it burning as a distress signal. When the boys do not share
his enthusiasm for getting rescued, he becomes exasperated. "The fire is
the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except
by luck, if we don't keep the fire going?" (Golding 88) Ralph's determination
to get rescued is not for purely selfish reasons, but rather, it is in
the best interest of the group. When the boys join