I'm doing an essay on Lord of the Flies, based on Ralph's weaknesses as a leader. One of my topics is how he made the boys feel scared/alone, and I need a quote which shows that he is distant from...

I'm doing an essay on Lord of the Flies, based on Ralph's weaknesses as a leader. One of my topics is how he made the boys feel scared/alone, and I need a quote which shows that he is distant from the boys. Please help! Thanks!

Asked on by talyn-27

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You could go about that a quote a few different ways.  I think one way of using quotes to support your thesis that Ralph is a weak leader is to focus on how often Ralph needs to tell all of the other boys that he is chief.  

"All this I meant to say. Now I've said it. You voted me for chief. Now you do what I say."

He said that in chapter 5. Then in the next chapter he says:

"I'm chief. We've got to make certain [that there is no beast]. Can't you see the mountain? There's no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?"

His leadership abilities are starting to wear thin here, and the line that follows is very informative. "Mutinously, the boys fell silent or muttering."  So not only is Ralph resorting to insulting his followers, but they have mutinous feelings.  Ralph has failed to realize that being leader means more than saying it or blowing a conch shell.  If he is going to set forth rules, he needs a way to enforce them and punish those people that break the rules.  Ralph puts neither of those systems in place.  His repetitive nagging that he is the leader shows that he is not a part of the group. Perhaps a leader doesn't need to be, but it also shows that he is not respected as a member or leader of the group. 

After Simon is killed Ralph says this: “I was on the outside too.”  He is trying to convince himself that he had no part of Simon's death.  The quote also highlights just how distant he feels from Jack and the main group.  Ralph was always distant, but now he is actually saying it. 

The last bit of evidence is the boar hunt that Ralph takes part in.  Ralph wounds the boar with his throw and then proceeds to run around and try to get acknowledgment and congratulations from anybody that will listen to him.  He is desperate to be a part of the group, so desperate that he feels the need to push his accomplishment on the others.  

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