Do you think that Golding suggests that Jack might have been a better leader than Ralph?Do you think that Golding suggests that Jack might have been a better leader than Ralph? Support your answer...

Do you think that Golding suggests that Jack might have been a better leader than Ralph?

Do you think that Golding suggests that Jack might have been a better leader than Ralph? Support your answer by close reference to the novel.

Asked on by princoo92

3 Answers | Add Yours

e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The leadership qualities of both boys are questionable and this is largely due to the values they both represent and believe in. It seems that Ralph is ultimately the better leader because he maintains a focus on order and rescue. Jack, in contrast, continues to play a role, to hunt, and in doing so jeopardizes the possibility of rescue. 

Though both Jack and Ralph command respect, and Jack persuades the boys to follow him, Ralph's leadership doesn't kill anyone (directly) and allows for discussion. Jack's leadership is destructive and short-sighted. 

luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

As early as chapter 3, it is clear that Ralph is not a very good leader.   He has good ideas and he realizes the need to build huts and to create and maintain a signal fire.  He doesn't know how to get people to do what he wants.  The littluns don't listen to him and Jack doesn't listen to him.  Ralph is very frustrated with this lack of cooperation and with his own inability to lead effectively.  It is only in this regard that Jack may have been a better leader.  Jack commands respect because he demands it, but if he'd been leader from the start, savagery and chaos, ironically would have arrived sooner.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It is possible that Golding is suggesting this, since in the book, the vote for Ralph as leader isn't really a "vote" as we know elections.  The question was posed, "Who wants Ralph for leader?" Since he was nice, and one of the older boys, why not raise your hand?

He does not use force, fear, or punishment in order to get boys to do what is necessary for survival on the island.  He expects them to understand the seriousness of the situation and do the work based on the need and desire to be rescued (ie. keep the fire lit and burning, collect water, build shelters, etc.).

Jack, on the other hand, takes command quickly and does employ fear, force, and punishment.  He rules more like a Communist Dictator than a democratic President (Ralph).  His way is work when it's necessary (hunt pigs, get Piggy's glasses for fire, hunt and kill Ralph, etc.) but generally have fun.  There is no shelter to be built since they're occupying caves on the cliff.

Had the two worked together, Jack and Ralph would have had an amazing little organization on their hands.  However, they are juxtaposed as too different, and unable to accept the other's reasoning to continue as a unified front.

We’ve answered 318,924 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question