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

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In chapter 1, the boys determine that someone needs to be in charge of leading them. As they begin conversations about who that should be, they realize the power of the being who brought them all together:

But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet 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.

“Him with the shell.”

“Ralph! Ralph!”

“Let him be chief with the trumpet-thing.”

The conch has power because it has gathered them from their far flung reaches of the island. Since it has power, the boy who blew it also has power. It wasn't even originally his idea, but Ralph is seen as powerful because of his connection with the conch.

In chapter 4, Jack and his hunters have some meat and use that position as a means of power, particularly over Piggy:

“Aren’t I having none?”

Jack had meant to leave him in doubt, as an assertion of power; but Piggy by advertising his omission made more cruelty necessary.

“You didn’t hunt.”

“No more did Ralph,” said Piggy wetly, “nor Simon.”

To eat is to live. Jack realizes this and the power he can exert over the group through his access to meat. Because Jack hates Piggy from the start, he denies Piggy food as a means of asserting his dominance over Piggy's position of wisdom.

In chapter 5, Simon, Piggy, and Ralph are analyzing Jack's character and motivation, trying to determine why Jack is so nasty to them:

"He hates you too, Ralph—”

“Me? Why me?”

“I dunno. You got him over the fire; an’ you’re chief an’ he isn’t.”

“But he’s, he’s, Jack Merridew!”

“I been in bed so much I done some thinking. I know about people. I know about me. And him. He can’t hurt you: but if you stand out of the way he’d hurt the next thing. And that’s me.”

“Piggy’s right, Ralph. There’s you and Jack. Go on being chief.”

This exchange reveals a couple of things. First, there will always be those like Jack who despise people in a position of power. Not everyone desires to live in a society of order or to submit to a form of authority. Jack represents disorder and therefore stands in natural opposition to Ralph, who seeks to exert a form of control over the group. Second, the exchange reveals that those who oppose leadership will sometimes strike out indirectly to harm others close to that leadership. Thus, Piggy realizes that he's in danger simply because of his proximity to Ralph.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 6, 2020
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1. At the beginning of chapter 5, Ralph demonstrates his leadership skills by holding an assembly to address the fact that necessary tasks are not being completed. Ralph reveals his authority and power by telling the group,

We need an assembly. Not for fun. Not for laughing and falling off the log...not for making jokes, or for...for cleverness. Not for these things. But to put things straight...I've been alone. By myself I went, thinking what's what. I know what we need. An assembly to put things straight. And first of all, I'm speaking.(Golding 60)

Ralph's opening statements are clear, direct, and effectively convey his purpose for holding the assembly. Unfortunately, Jack interrupts the assembly and the hunters leave the meeting without being excused.

2. In chapter 9, Jack holds a feast and Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric are in attendance. Jack reveals his leadership and power by telling the boys,

I gave you food...and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?(Golding 116)

Jack believes that his ability to provide food for the boys and protect them from the beast are the most important qualities of an effective chief.

3. In chapter 10, Jack demonstrates his ability to manipulate his group of hunters into following his every directive. Despite the fact that they brutally murdered Simon, who they mistook for the beast, Jack maintains that the beast is still alive. He understands how to manipulate the boys' fears and tells them to leave the severed pigs head for the beast. The fact that Jack's hunters follow his every command reveals his leadership skills and influence. Jack tells his tribe,

So leave the mountain alone...and give it the head if you go hunting...I expect the beast disguised itself. Perhaps...We'd better keep on the right side of him, anyhow. You can't tell what he might do...But tomorrow we'll hunt and when we've got meat we'll have a feast. (Golding 125)

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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?"

"Hunters."

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—"

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