What do Smollett's and Silver's individual leadership styles reveal about the two characters?

5 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think there are similarities between the leadership styles. Any sea captain is going to rule both by fear and respect. There is not too much difference between the pirate and the legitimate captain in terms of systems of rule, and many regular sea captains are just as cruel or more cruel.
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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Yes, I agree, I don't think the situation is quite as black and white as #2 suggests. I would argue that any good leader needs to rule with a combination of respect and also power. In this sense, you could actually argue that Long John Silver is a "better" or at least a more effective leader than Smollet.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I don't quite agree with the previous characterization of Silver.  It seems to me that he leads by respect as well since the other pirates have respect for what he has done in the past.  Of course, he also leads by fear.  But the thing is, Smollett doesn't exactly cause the men to respect him.  I mean, they plot to mutiny against him, don't they?

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Captain Smollett is a qualified sea captain who rules by respect. Long John Silver is not a true captain, and he leads his cutthroats by lies, deceit and promises of riches. As for the religious aspects, the men have all barely escaped the island with their lives, and they are probably thinking that divine intervention probably helped them to escape from the pirates.

sammuffin's profile pic

sammuffin | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Well I think that captain smollet is a better captain than Silver because you cant just make somebody do what you say by threatening to kill them like silver does but Smollett gets respect without being completely  and uterly harsh to every person who doesn't do what he says and that she give him all the power he needs. When you respect others they will respect you back. Simple as that :)