Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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

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.

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There's another quotation which demonstrates Ralph's desire for order and stability on the island:

Jack’s in charge of the choir. They can be—what do you want them to be?

Ralph makes this decision after he's been democratically elected as leader of the boys. He knows that Jack's deeply unhappy at being rejected and that this unhappiness, if allowed to simmer, could well lead to trouble later on. So Ralph makes what he thinks is the wise decision to allow Jack to stay in charge of the boys in the choir.

On the face of it, this seems like a sensible gesture. But unfortunately, it shows how Ralph's desire for stability and order can often override basic common sense. For there's no way in a million years that Jack will ever be satisfied with being in charge of the choir. He wants absolute power over all the other boys and will do whatever it takes to get it and, having got it, hang onto it.

So long as Jack's around, he's going to present a danger to any kind of civilization on the island. And by allowing him to stay in control of the choir, by giving him his own gang, if you like, Ralph is inadvertently making a rod for his own back, giving Jack the tools with which to challenge his democratic power and establish in its stead a brutal dictatorship.

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By chapter 2, Ralph is establishing himself as a leader when some members of the group become worried about the "beastie." First, Ralph assures the group that "we shall be rescued," and this immediately lifts the spirits of the group with the "weight of Ralph's new authority." He goes on to explain to them:

My father's in the Navy. He said there aren't any unknown islands left. He says the Queen has a big room full of maps and all the islands in the world are drawn there ... And sooner or later a ship will put in here ... So you see, sooner or later, we shall be rescued.

Ralph speaks with authority, and the group listens. With the help of a couple of supportive and fairly wise (for their ages) voices, he begins to develop plans to sustain the group on the island, prioritizing shelter and fire:

We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire.

This immediately motivates the boys, and quickly "half the boys were on their feet." This quote both shows that Ralph can effectively lead the group into action and that he understands the ultimate priority: getting rescued. He is not lost in...

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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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