Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Why does Ralph choose an easy path to return to the platform for an assembly?

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In the novel "Lord Of The Flies" by William Golding, the author shows us a boy who is not sure he can pay the price of leadership of a gang of boys who have dubious expectations for a leader they can pay allegiance to. They want a leader who satiates their need for sport, even if that is blood sports. In rejecting this frivolity and choosing responsible constructive task-sharing and rescue operations Ralph is not choosing an easy path. He sees how the littluns squabble and fight and shirk their duties. The easy path would have been to compete with Jack for violent war games and hunting. But Ralph cannot find it in his heart to pander to public popularity and instead withdraws into a situation of isolation in which he himself is vulnerable and threatened. Not an easy path.

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One of the things that we learn about Ralph as the story progresses is that he loves the idea of being in power, he loves the idea of being a leader and being respected, but he also is quite nervous about the actual leading part of it.  He isn't really that gung-ho about hunting, something the boys need to master in order to survive.  He isn't always quick to make decisions and step up to lead, often depending on Piggy to help him reason things out before deciding.

So he often chooses the easy path, he chooses the wrong path because he is not strategically adept and this is likely one of the reasons why he fails so miserably as a leader.

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