How does Golding portray authority in The Lord of the Flies?

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valley83 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of the Flies, Golding demonstrates authority through the characters of both Ralph and Jack. They each represent a different type of authority. Through Ralph, Golding shows a democratic authority. Ralph is elected by the others as the leader, and he makes use of the conch shell so that each boy can have a turn in speaking and having a say in the authority on the island. Ralph also develops an assembly in order to make the rules that the boys agree to follow.

Through Jack, Golding alternatively shows a dictatorship style of authority. Jack usurps power and authority by ignoring that the governing group of boys works or that their authority even exists. He takes his authority through fear and manipulation. By contrasting the two boys, Golding can show the variances in different types of authority.

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Lord of the Flies

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