What are some examples of political differences I can use to compare and contrast Ralph and Jack?I am making a constitution for each Ralph and Jack, and I need more advice about their differences...

What are some examples of political differences I can use to compare and contrast Ralph and Jack?

I am making a constitution for each Ralph and Jack, and I need more advice about their differences from a politcal standpoint; Ralph is more a democracy while Jack is a dictatorship.. etc. Please help! :)

Asked on by claudiacat

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ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

That's a very interesting question when put into context with the project you are working on.  In order to create "constitutions" that would represent what both of these characters believe, you have to have a pretty good idea of what a constitution does.  Let's base your project on the American constitution, as this is the one that we know best.

The American constitution both explains how government works and outlines the rights of the citizen of the country.  While a dictatorship can (and often does) have a constitution at its core, the dictator either ignores it (by declaring a state of emergency, for example, or doing it secretly) or has it written in such a way to be broad and encompassing of the dictator's power.

The best way to go about your project is to look at some of the rights the American constitution guarantees and then compare how the different boys would write that section, given the chance.  I can give you some examples, but you will probably think of some other ones, too.  The first few are more about government structure than rights:

  • Central power: Jack would probably favor a consolidation of power in himself, with him being the primary decision maker.  Ralph favors a more democratic system whereby everyone has a say.
  • Enforcement power:  Jack can (and does) enforce his authority using the other boys as "soldiers."  Ralph has no such power to back him up.  His directives are routinely ignored and there is nothing he can do about it.
  • Religion:  Ralph shows little (or no) interest in religion, and would probably allow the boys to worship as they pleased.  Jack, on the other hand, has formed a bit of a cult around himself, tying into "the beast" and the status of the hunter.  To be in his tribe one would probably have to participate in rituals that supported this.
  • Freedom of the Press:  Ralph would probably put Piggy to work on "spinning" the truth but would allow freedom of the press (if the island had one, that is.)  Jack would most likely sensor those things he didn't like and shut the press down as he saw fit.
  • Capital punishment:  We don't have any evidence of Ralph killing anything on the island, where Jack, by the end, is clearly trying to kill Ralph.  Execution one way for him to rid himself of dissension.
  • Education: Ralph would probably favor things that focused on improving island life, such as building, farming, and health care.  Jack would most likely focus on military type skills like physical education, hunting, and obedience.
  • Freedom of Speech:  As we saw, Ralph was all about having discussions on various subjects and letting the boys have their say.  Jack, on the other hand, seemed to have no use for discussion if it wasn't going to go his way.  "You have the freedom to say what I tell you to say."

Anyhow, those are some ideas.  Good luck!

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