What attributes did Piggy and Jack each possess that suited each for leadership in Lord of the Flies?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Ralph and Piggy complement each other in terms of leadership but without the other, neither would be quite so effectual. Ralph, the natural leader

has a "directness" in his manner that the narrator calls a sign of "genuine leadership"

Ralph's father is a commander in the Navy which does give Ralph an advantage; however, he lacks assertiveness and certain strategic skills necessary and, whilst he has good powers of observation, fails to recognize, for example, what the conch represents:

order, authority, dialogue, democracy.

It is Piggy who immediately appreciates the potential of the conch. He is the

voice of reason without whom Ralph's leadership would have been undermined far sooner.

It is Piggy's innovative approach that enables Ralph to use his own leadership abilities to the full. Piggy's glasses are used to start the fire. Piggy realizes that long-term survival depends on the fire's capacity to keep burning and having reliable shelter; Piggy recognizes Jack's hatred and the extent of it allowing him to push Ralph. Piggy, simple or not,  

 makes the brilliant,...suggestion that the fire be moved down to the beach away from the "beast from air."

Piggy is the brains behind Ralph's charisma. Towards the end, with Simon and Piggy gone -  

without Piggy's ... wise counsel and Simon's steadfastness, Ralph is greatly weakened

Ralph the daydreamer struggles to remember the rational ideas Piggy told him about rescue

Good leadership is obviously therefore a complex relationship between members of a team - even if there's only two - and what each can bring to the fore. It's about bringing the best out in each other.

Please post your questions about the conch separately in terms of eNotes rules.




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