What are some quotes from Lord of the Flies that show power and leadership?  

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your best bet for finding quotes about power and leadership is to focus on the characters of Ralph and Jack.  Right from the very beginning of the story both boys seek to be nominated chief.  Ralph is voted chief, but Jack works to undermine Ralph's power and authority by selling the kids the idea that a dictator is a much better form of leadership.  The following quote illustrates the early desire of the boys to have a leadership structure in place.  

"Shut up," said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. "Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things."

"A chief! A chief!"

"I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp."

Ralph begins his job as chief in a positive way, because he exercises his power while at the same time taking into account the needs of those that he is in power over.  He delegates jobs to other boys and even gives Jack a leadership role of his own.  Jack gets to lead the hunters.  

The suffusion drained away from Jack's face. Ralph waved again for silence.

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


Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking. The rest began to talk eagerly.

Of course Jack is only appeased for so long.  By chapter five Jack is demanding that power be given to him.  He believes that he can lead better, because he is willing to step up and take power over Ralph.  

Jack's face swam near him.

"And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing—"

"I'm chief. I was chosen."

"Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don't make any sense—"

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

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