How is leadership presented in Lord of the Flies?

Two forms of leadership are presented in Lord of the Flies. One is rationalistic and future oriented and is represented by Ralph. The other appeals to repressed desires and is represented by Jack.

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Two forms of leadership emerge in Lord of the Flies. One is represented by Ralph, the essence of English decency. This form is based on rationalism, denying present pleasure for the goal of doing things such as tending the fire to enable a future rescue, and acting for the good of the whole. Ralph's vision, based on what he knows from life in England, emphasizes rules, planning, and responsibility:

"We’ve got to have special people for looking after the fire. Any day there may be a ship out there"—he waved his arm at the taut wire of the horizon—"and if we have a signal going they’ll come and take us off. And another thing. We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting."

Jack represents the other form of leadership on the island. This form appeals to the dark, repressed side of the boys, offering them freedom from rationality and morality. In Jack's world, followers can indulge their cruelty, paint themselves, and participate in frenzied dances and rituals. The indulgence of the desires of the moments count for more than planning for the future. Jack's vision of leadership is expressed in his recruiting method:

Who’ll join my tribe and have fun?

In Ralph's world, power is shared: anyone who hold the conch can speak, giving everyone a voice in governance. Jack's leadership style is dictatorial: he is the leader and all the power rests in his hands.

As we see in the novel, the allure of Jack's world proves appealing to most of the boys, leaving Ralph and Piggy isolated.

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