According to Golding in Lord of the Flies, what is the most effective way to govern human beings?Prove your answer and give some specific details from the text; quotations are the best.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since Ralph is the protagonist in Lord of the Flies and Ralph tried to rule by using reason and a sense of good for everyone, it is reasonable to assume that Golding felt this was the best way to rule people.  He also felt, though, that this method didn't work because of mankind's basic evil nature.  When Ralph tries to rule this way, by using reason, rules, and doing what was good for the group as a whole, he was unsuccessful and he lost all power to Jack and his tribe.  Jack ruled by intimidation and by offering tantalizing "goodies" to the boys.  Jack promised food and fun, not hard work with a slow, long-term reward for the effort.  Jack didn't advocate working hard to build huts; he advocated letting him take charge.  In chapter 5, at a meeting that is quickly succumbing to disorder, Ralph tells Jack he is not following the rules to which Jack asks, "Who cares?"  Ralph's reply of, "Because the rules are the only thing we've got," gets nothing from the other boys.  Instead the comment is followed by the general rioutous break up of the meeting as the other boys whoop and shout.  As Jack gains power and followers, we see him become more and more cruel.  He has children whipped for no reason other than to serve as examples to intimidate the other boys so that they follow everything he says. This was clearly shown in chapter 10 when Robert tells Roger that Jack ordered Wilfred to be tied up for a beating for an unknown reason. By the last chapter, Ralph is a boy without any followers fleeing for his life from Jack's cruel, iron-handed dictatorship.  It is only by the luck of being finally rescued that Ralph escapes being killed like a pig at Jack's hands.  Jack, as the antagonist, represents the opposite of what Golding sees as the way to govern people.

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Lord of the Flies

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