Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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For Lord of The Flies, I have to write an essay on who I think would be a better leader, Jack or Ralph. Of course I picked Ralph, but I need evidence from the book please.

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In Lord of the Flies, Ralph is recognized early as the natural leader as the boys are in awe of the boy "with the trumpet- thing." (ch 1) It is always easier to lead when you have support and the choir boys only reluctantly and "with dreary obedience" choose Jack. A good leadership skill is to recognize the strengths of those around you and Ralph immediately sees Jack's "blush of mortification" and points out that "The choir belongs to you, of course." Even without thinking, he knows that it will be beneficial to his own position as chief if he has Jack's co-operation. Ralph admits that he "can't decide what to do straight off" and is not impulsive in his decision-making but he does understand that, in order to have a plan, there are certain things that he needs to be sure of; such as whether they are actually on an island and he appoints a small "expedition." Therefore, we already see Ralph's leadership potential and his rational thinking skills as contrasted with Jack who is impulsive and never has time or the desire to consider the consequences of his actions.

As the son of a Navy Commander, Ralph tries to use what he has learnt from his father and apply it to the boys' situation. On the first "expedition," he suggests drawing a map and Simon suggests scratching out on the tree bark as they have no paper. Ralph's ideas often need input from others and mostly from Piggy, to make them work but as long as he has a belief in rescue, he remains confident. This ensures that he is focused and determined, also good leadership skills. He tries to make the others understand the importance of the signal fire and his persistence is a necessary skill for a good leader. He thinks, as a good leader should, about the long term - they need shelter, food, water- but he is mistaken in thinking that everyone else has the same goals as him, to the point of it making him angry when the fire goes out.  

Under different circumstances, Ralph could be a better leader as he thrives on support and has a natural charisma which makes others feel confident around him. He always thinks in terms of "the bigger picture" and always tries to put the safety of the group, and never himself, first.   

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