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Compare and contrast Ralph and Jack as leaders

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Compare and Contrast Ralph and Jack as characters and leaders Ralph and Jack signify different themes and ideas throughout 'The Lord of the Flies'. They both have different personalities but in some aspects they are similar. For example, they both want to be leaders, but they want to lead in different ways. The two boys are from typical English public schools so their background is similar yet their personalities contrast. Ralph is calm and fair; he represents order, leadership and civilisation. On the other hand Jack is very authoritative and represents unbridled savagery and desire for power. As the book progresses we see these traits becoming even stronger in Jack, as if he were a dictator like Hitler from the Second World War, which was when the 'Lord of the Flies' was set. When Ralph first finds himself stranded on the island, it is as if he couldn't care less as to how he got there. The fact that he has just survived a plane crash, in which many adults have died in, does not seem to bother him at all. ...read more.


As the time that is spent on the island advances, Jack's savage traits start to emerge. For example, when he goes hunting he lets the boys go off swimming whilst he continues. Unfortunately he catches nothing and goes back to camp. He describes the situation to Ralph, 'I went on. I thought, by myself' ... 'the madness came into his eyes again' ... 'I thought I might kill'. Jack's true traits are starting to emerge. His savage instinct is starting to become apparent; he is described as having madness in his eyes. He is starting to have a 'compulsion' to hunt and kill that was not apparent before because society and civilisation keeps people in control but when they are set free from this their natural or basic instincts start to emerge. However this is not true of everyone, Ralph has continued to remain calm and civilised;, building huts on the beach with Piggy, his advisor. His natural instincts are not savage but to try to find a means of remaining safe and being rescued. Throughout the book Ralph relies on Piggy to help him with many decisions. ...read more.


Ralph starts to give up hope, 'So we can't have a signal fire ... We're beaten'. The two boys' contrasting opinions and aims are in competition and at the beginning of the book when society and civilisation was still in the minds of many of the boys they were prepared to have Ralph as their leader. However, as time has passed and their sense of civilisation has gradually disappeared the longer they are away from it, they have resorted to Jack for fun and a preferred lifestyle. In some aspects Ralph and Jack are alike as leaders because they both want to get their own way. However their aims are different, Jack wants to hunt and Ralph wants to be rescued. Jack is the autocratic, less caring leader whereas Ralph is democratic and tries to do what is best for all the boys. In the end it turns out that the boys would prefer to be led by Jack. Golding is suggesting that it doesn't matter who you are, even if you are from a privileged public school background, without the influences of society we will decline into savagery and our true natural instincts will emerge. ...read more.

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