What are the leadership styles of Ralph and Jack in Lord of the Flies?      

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack is an authoritarian leader while Ralph is more of an egalitarian. Even in the first chapter, Jack is shown as a strict leader who demands obedience as his choir members follow him across the beach. He has made them march in line in their hot uniforms, and Simon ends up passing out because of the heat. Jack immediately puts himself forward as a potential chief, claiming he is "chapter chorister and head boy." Later, in one of the meetings, he tries to stifle the free speech of the others, saying that they should "leave deciding things to the rest of us." When he starts his own tribe, he has two boys say, "The chief has spoken," and he sits like an idol at his feast. He beats Wilfred for no apparent reason.

Ralph doesn't seek out being chief, but once he is voted in, he tries to include others in his decisions. He immediately allows Jack to choose an area to be the head of, and Jack chooses hunting. During meetings he enforces the rule of the conch, allowing everyone to speak in turn. He allows a discussion of the boys' fears, although that ends up working against him. He feels bad when Jack deserts the group, even though Piggy is pleased. He listens to advice from Simon and Piggy, and in chapter 11, he listens to Samneric and Piggy as they plan their visit to Castle Rock. 

Although Jack rules as a dictator, Ralph demonstrates a more democratic style of leadership.

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Lord of the Flies

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