What are some quotes from Lord of the Flies that best demonstrate Ralph's abilities as an order-seeking leader?

Quick Answer

One of several quotes that demonstrate Ralph’s abilities as an order-seeking leader can be found in Chapter Two of Lord of the Flies, “Fire on the Mountain.” Ralph tells the boys, “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. The same up here as down there." This demonstrates Ralph’s ability to lead by establishing rules in an effort to maintain order on the island, as well as his commitment to achieving rescue and a return to civilization.

Expert Answers
Douglas Horley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A great example of Ralph taking on tough situations as a leader is when the boys go in search of the beast, venturing into parts of the island they hadn't been to before. Ralph intrinsically knows that as leader he must physically take the lead in the hunting party, despite his feelings of great trepidation.

"His mouth was tight and pale. He put back his hair very slowly.....He forced his feet to move until they carried him out on to the neck of the land" (p. 130).

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph has charisma and leadership qualities, but he bemoans that he cannot think as well as Piggy.  Nevertheless, he compensates for his thinking ability by asserting himself when Jack and the hunters act on their own:

"I'm chief," said Ralph, "because you chose me.  And we were going to keep the fire going.  Now you run after food--" (Chapter 9)

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The initial situation is tough. When Piggy and Ralph recognize the situation they are in on the island, Piggy suggests that they call a meeting where Ralph quickly demonstrates his ability to both vocalize and assert command. His authority is also orderly as he suggests the vote which elects him to be chief. 

 

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph does try and bring order to chaos on the island.  His primary ojective is rescue, so the boys can reconnect to ciivilization.  In the chapter two, "Fire on the Mountain," Ralph lays down rules for the boys about keeping rules, getting rescued, and using the conch.

"[I]f 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. The same up here as down here" (42).

In the below video (of a 1990 adaptation of the novel), you can see Ralph attempting for an orderly meeting by invoking the conch as a talking piece:

tonyz98 | Student

Ralph has charisma and leadership qualities, but he bemoans that he cannot think as well as Piggy.  Nevertheless, he compensates for his thinking ability by asserting himself when Jack and the hunters act on their own:

"I'm chief," said Ralph, "because you chose me.  And we were going to keep the fire going.  Now you run after food--" (Chapter 9)

I agree with your thinking. I think that Ralph is less intelligent than that of Piggy. THis is exemplified at the feast, where Piggy warns Ralph to leave before things get bad. However, Ralph does not listen and the two boys ended up participating in Piggy's death.

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Lord of the Flies

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