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Lord of the Flies: who would make the best leader?

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Introduction

Before considering a persons' suitability as a leader it is first important to evaluate exactly what constitutes a good leader. A worthy leader must be mature, confident, able to delegate and prioritise, logical, level headed, have the ability to evaluate a situation and a willingness to compromise when others do not agree. Ralph - On the island Ralph is soon elected as leader. The boys respected him because he had the conch however notably it was in fact Piggy who found the conch and instructed Ralph to use it - to Ralph the conch was just "a worthy plaything". - Similarly the boys were perhaps drawn to the order and 'democracy' imposed by Ralph; "We'll have hands up like in school" - Ralph is able to delegate and compromise when his appointment as leader seems to anger Jack; "the Choir will belong to you". For one so young this ability to maintain peace within the group is very mature. - Ralph has a caring disposition and ensures that he looks after the littluns: "we can't leave the littluns alone with Piggy." As such Ralph earns himself their respect and trust; "I was frightened and started to call out for Ralph". ...read more.

Middle

Even when Ralph suggests rescue, Jack's response is, 'I'd like to catch a pig first.' 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 - Nearing the end of the novel Jack becomes evil and dangerous. For example after cruelly murdering Piggy he turns to the other boys and states; "that's what you'll get! I meant that." - He refuses to follow or allow for rules openly stating "bollocks to rules", but rather creates rules that suit his own needs; "The conch doesn't count on top of the mountain." - His determination is for personal success and immediate gratification, and for self-aggrandisement. He does not consider the long-term effects or people's feelings, displayed when Jack left the fire to go hunting. Piggy Another possible candidate for leader is Piggy who throughout the novel represents scientific reasoning and intelligence. - From the beginning of the novel Piggy is shown to be very mature for his age. ...read more.

Conclusion

- The littluns on the island look up to simon as he is kind and generous towards them, "Simon found for them the fruit that they could not reach." Similarly Simon is kind towards Piggy, "Piggy snivelled and Simon quickly shushed him" which demonstrates his considerate nature. - Simon has an innate understanding of human nature and evil on the island. Even when faced with the beast, Simon cannot see it anything other than human, 'There rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick'; he is the only boy who sees the beast for what it really is, 'The beast was harmless and horrible.' - Simon is not corrupted by the evil on the island, and the way nature takes him back symbolises purity, ''The line of his cheek silvered'. Despite both having horrific deaths, Simon has a much more dignified exit than Piggy, as a reflection of his character. However although Simon has numerous qualities it would seem that few of them would assist his ability as a leader on the island. - For example although he offers the truth to the boys he is unable to get his point across and is therefore killed by the boys. ...read more.

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