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Lord of the Flies - Was Ralph the best choice for leader?

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Introduction

Lord of the Flies Was Ralph the best choice for leader? I think that in 'Lord of the Flies' Ralph was the best choice for leader, because of his good leadership qualities, and because on the island, there were no realistic alternatives. The other boys on the island that may have been considered for leader were Jack, Roger, Piggy and Simon. Although these characters have many qualities, there are also negative aspects to their personalities that would make them an unsuitable option for chief. The boys on the island, by the end of the book, appeared to be divided into two halves: the good and the bad. On the 'bad' side were Jack, who eventually became leader of his own tribe, and Roger. Although both had control over the boys, neither was a suitable leader for a democratic society. On the 'good' side were Ralph, Piggy and Simon, as they believed in democracy, and were more aware of the feelings of the other boys. In my opinion there are many points that constitute a commendable leader. Any worthy leader should think maturely, have confidence, organisation, concern for others, trustworthiness, the ability to prioritise, common sense, logic, to be clear headed and, in general, a good person. A good chief, when leading discussions, would also need the ability to evaluate a situation, form an unbiased opinion, and come up with a sensible solution. In this situation a good leader would also need negotiation skills, in order to put forward their opinion, and the willingness to compromise if others disagree. However, on the island, the leader was expected to lead a group of young boys, who were not all willing to work or follow commands. ...read more.

Middle

Following this, Jack lets the fire out in order to go hunting, which increased the dislike between him and Ralph. Jack's obsession with hunting is later echoed in the deaths of Simon and Piggy, which Jack was ultimately responsible for. With this evidence, I conclude that Jack would not have made a good leader, and would have become a dictator. From the beginning of the novel, Piggy was realistic and mature, saying, 'We could be here 'til we die,' in an attempt to state the facts to Ralph about their situation on the island. Piggy was a good thinker, as Ralph made clear when he thinks, 'I can't think. Not like Piggy'. Initially, it is Piggy who suggests blowing the conch that Ralph considers just 'a worthy plaything,' and Piggy believes in the power of the conch throughout his life on the island. He says quite regularly, 'I got the conch,' as he believes that the conch represents the survival of civilisation. Piggy also has great faith in Ralph. This is shown when he says 'that was what you meant, didn't you?' He stands by Ralph until the end, for example, when 'Ralph was left holding the conch with no-one but Piggy'. In addition to these, Piggy has other leadership qualities. He is organised, suggesting that they 'make a list' at the beginning. He is also fair to all the boys on the island, because he believes in democracy, and even gives the 'littluns' a chance. He says 'Let him have the conch', regarding a 'littlun', because Piggy believes everyone has rights. Piggy is kind to the littluns, and cares for them, as a parent might. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there are also bad aspects to Simon character in regard to leadership on the island. Simon appears different to the other boys, because of his disability, and because of his character, so he is unable to gain their respect. His difference inspires fear and condemnation in the boys, 'what were you mucking about in the dark for?' Simon is not understood, and is undervalued by the boys, 'He was batty. He asked for it,' is Piggy's response to his death. Simon has no confidence, 'Simon opened his mouth to speak, but Ralph had the conch so he backed to his seat,' and self-confidence is an essential characteristic for a good leader. Also, despite Simon's ability to think deeply, as an adult, he is unable to put his thoughts into words, 'Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind's essential illness.' This would make it impossible for him to be leader, as he would be overpowered by more confident members of the group. In conclusion, I think that Ralph was the best choice for leader. However, this was only through process of elimination, as even Ralph was not an ideal candidate. All the characters in Lord of the Flies had positive and negative aspects to their personalities, and Ralph was no exception to this. The negative aspects of the other boy's personalities over-ruled the positive aspects, concerning leadership. Ralph was the only boy on the island that would have made a suitable leader in civilised society, and this was what they wanted to achieve. Ralph's good characteristics outnumbered his bad qualities. Ralph was the only boy on the island who was liked and respected by the majority of the others, whilst every other boy had only limited real respect, rather than fear. Zo� Twigg English ...read more.

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