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Explain the extent to which Ralph's own character helps lose him the leadership of the boys.

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Introduction

Explain the extent to which Ralph's own character helps lose him the leadership of the boys Near the start of novel, the first point we hear about Ralph, the reader we see that Ralph is not a vicious or brutal character, and as he came from a good middle class background and he knew the correct way to act and behave. "There was a mildness about his mouth that proclaimed no devil" (Chapter 1) As a chief, Ralph would have needed to be a strong character that had a large presence in the group so that they would respect him, and follow out his orders. This does not turn out to be true because of his lack of leadership qualities when a real leader needed to emerge. Ralph is too kind for his own good, and this characteristic turns out to be one that stops him being a good leader. Many of the group knew that Jack Merridew was the best person to lead the group, but the group saw something in Ralph that made them think he could be the chief of their group. "While the most obvious leader was Jack. ...read more.

Middle

Not only was Ralph being ignored but the symbol of his leadership, the conch, was being ignored as well. Despite Ralph being appointed Chief, Jack leads his own hunters with the authority of a chief. Ralph let's Jack take too much control over the group and as a result, Ralph loses his control over the group. "Ralph picked out Jack easily, even at that distance, tall, red-haired, and inevitably leading the procession. (Chapter 4) In chapter 10 Roger calls Jack 'a proper chief', and he recognises the leadership qualities in Jack. We even see later on in the novel that his followers call Jack 'Chief'. Ralph lets Jack take control of the main hunting duties, and Ralph himself is too laid-back towards his own duties at chief. Most of Ralph's authority lied with the conch, which was a symbol of the power that he had. The conch was the thing that helped to bring law and order to their society, and with the conch in his presence; Ralph had the power to be the chief that the group thought he could be. "With the conch. I'm calling this meeting even if we have to go into the dark. ...read more.

Conclusion

"They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate" (Chapter 3) They are not communicating with each other because they have differing views. Jack believes he should be the chief. Jack says that Ralph "isn't a proper chief" and that he should not be the chief any more, but the group sit quietly and reject Jack's proposal. Jack later leaves the group, and Ralph is unable to reassure the rest of the group or assert his leadership further. In conclusion, Ralph was a poor leader because he did not possess the right qualities of a true leader. He was not ruthless, and did not enforce himself on the others like he should've. Ralph was elected chief because he looked like the best leader, but in practice, Jack was the only true leader on the island because of his background of being head boy and leader of the choir. Jack imposed his leadership on the others and was merciless when it came to dealing with those who stepped out of line. Ralph was not able to control the group, and was to relaxed about the job of the chief. Because of this, the boys did not follow Ralph's instructions, and this meant that the fire went out and society broke down. Tom Wood 11A1 'Lord of The Flies' by William Golding 25/10/2002 Page 1 ...read more.

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