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Loss of Individuality in the Presence of a Quasi-Tyrannical Leader

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Loss of Individuality in the Presence of a Quasi-Tyrannical Leader: An analysis of Lord of the Flies by W. Golding and The Destructors by Graham Greene In literature, as in life, people are sometimes left alone, to fend for themselves, without guidance from more experienced individuals. In these cases, the idea of the individual is destroyed, and one leader takes an absolute control over the groups actions and thoughts, as is the case in both The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and The Destructors by Graham Greene. Although the idea of individualism is deeply ingrained into society, the natural tendency of most humans is nevertheless to become subservient to the more powerful leader, and therefore lose any sense of independent thought. This trait manifests itself in the forms of lesser leaders submitting to greater leaders, seemingly faithful followers joining opposing tyrannical leaders, and an unquestioned authority of a leader. ...read more.


Similarly, in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, faithful followers betray one leader to submit to a more powerful one. For example, the twins Sam and Eric, or Samneric, betray Ralph and join Jack, because instinctively they know that Ralph was on the losing side. When Ralph pleads for help from the twins, Eric says, "'Listen, Ralph. Never mind what's sense, that's gone-'" (188). Although they want to help Ralph escape alive, their loyalty already lays with Jack. Soon, Ralph comes to realize that he is alone, and that even Samneric are fully in support of Jack's side. "Samneric were somewhere in that line, and hating it. Or were they?" (196). Pushed by fear of pain and death, Samneric not only betray Ralph, but eventually come to fully support Jack's cause in finding Ralph and killing him. ...read more.


Even though at first, T.'s idea of destroying the house without looting anything was questioned, by the end of their project the gang was a mindless machine, working to destroy to house from the inside out. None of them hated Mr. Thomas, or Old Misery, not even T. himself. The only reason for the gang to destroy the house had been a whim on T.'s side, and when he had established himself as leader, the gang blindly, unquestioningly followed him. In conclusion, the arrival of a powerful leader will cause even former leaders to submit to him; he will bring out unfaithfulness in people and make them faithful to him; and he will destroy the idea of independent thought in the collective. Although some people, such as Ralph, manage to maintain their individuality, most people will quail under an oppressive leader and fit in with the mob mentality, lacking independent thought and following the leader mindlessly. ...read more.

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