In Lord of the Flies, the question of who should be the leader of the boys is an ongoing conflict, and status and charisma both play a role in determining that leadership. At various times Golding shows that both Ralph and Jack have status and charisma. In the first chapter, Ralph blows the conch to summon the boys. Even though using the conch in this manner was Piggy's idea, not Ralph's, Ralph is the one who gains by the status of the conch. When the boys vote for chief, despite Piggy being the most intelligent and Jack being the most obvious leader, the boys vote for Ralph, not only because of his size and attractiveness, but "most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart." Ralph has charisma primarily when he can speak to the common desire of the boys, namely rescue. In chapter 6 during a meeting, Jack is becoming more rebellious and seems to be turning the boys to himself and away from Ralph. However, Ralph reminds Jack and the other boys of the importance of the signal fire and draws the boys back: "Yes, they wanted to be rescued, there was no doubt about that; and with a violent swing to Ralph's side, the crisis passed."
Jack also displays charisma, primarily because he promises meat and excitement to the boys. When he tries to recruit the boys to his own tribe, he says, "Listen all of you. Me and my hunters ... we hunt and feast and have fun. If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I'll let you join. Perhaps not." In fact, he manages to draw all the boys except Piggy, Samneric, and a few stray littluns to his tribe. As he develops his own tribe, Jack creates status symbols for himself since he does not have the conch. He requires two savages to attend him: They "raised their spears together and spoke in time. 'The Chief has spoken.'" At the feast, Jack takes care to arrange the setting to reflect his new status: "Before the party had started a great log had been dragged into the centre of the lawn and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol."
Both Ralph and Jack vie for leadership among the boys. Jack has more natural charisma, and Ralph has the benefit of the initial status conferred on him by the conch and the original vote. In the end, Jack's charisma wins over almost all the boys and Jack creates his own visible symbols of status to replace the conch, which he has rejected.