Nowadays, power is an essential force in political life to guarantee a stable society. The leaders of our countries every day carry the heavyweight of responsibilities that comes with power. Overtime, power takes control of the leaders lives and affect them emotionally and physically. But what impact does power and its responsibilities have on a leader? To demonstrate the impact power has on a leader, the novel Lord of the Flies, written by Sir William Golding, in 1954 is a great example to shows how power can change a leader’s personality. This book is about a group of schoolboys, trapped on a deserted island, after a plane crash with no adults survivors.
Once all assembled, they decide on electing a leader and find a way to be rescued. They choose a boy named Ralph as their leader, and Ralph designates another boy, Jack, to be in charge of the boys who will hunt food for the entire group. At this point this means that Jack has also some power on the other boys. Here a stable society is created with a government made up of one leader and his subordinate. As one can imagine after a few days of utopian society life, the heavyweight of power and its responsibilities have an impact on the leaders, making them have a change in their behaviors and lose their most important leadership abilities which lead to the loss of power.
The impacts of power and leadership responsibilities on a leader are their change of behavior. For example, Golding uses the sentences Jack turned fiercely. You shut up (42) in order to show how even a tiny amount of power can easily make a person, especially a leader look or sound mighty to others. Later on, Jack shows his real face to Ralph by saying Who cares? ‘Bollocks to the rules’! (91) something showing that now Jack has enough power to rebel against the rules set up at the beginning of the book.
In addition, the author tries to show the change of behavior of another leader, one with much more civilized manners than Jack but also giving in to the darkness. Ralph the elected leader of the boys’ society is also represented as a leader influenced by power when the author points out Ralph too was fighting to get near… The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering (115).
Following this change of civilization to savagery, the author goes back to Jack’s barbarian behavior by noting how Power lay in the brown swell of his forearms: authority sat on his shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape (150). Golding here uses a particular word choice to portray how powerful and untouchable Jack became after becoming the only powerful chief on the island. The author uses a strong word choice to illustrate in his book how power affect a leader behavior is a proof of how easily power can be a destructive force and can change a civilized person behavior into a primitive barbaric behavior.
One of the most important requirement and responsibility of a great leader is to be self-confident, but when their power is challenged or questioned, or even taken away from them, it is easy to lose this self-confidence. Leaders most of the time use their power to accomplish their vision, yet when these ideas are not well seen by the society it is something that can influence their confidence. Using this idea, Golding illustrates Ralph’s loss of self-confidence and even lost of hope There’s no help Piggy. Nothing to be done (128). When civic failure happens or when power is lost, a leader fells lost and has doubts about everything surrounding him.
To demonstrate how a leader can be doubtful on his leadership abilities and decisions, the author states that Ralph was puzzled by the shutter that flickered in his brain (141). Sometimes, when leaders realize their loss of power, they start to belittle themselves and Golding in his book mentions Ralph’s reaction talking to Piggy after accepting his complete loss of power Ralph laughed sharply. ?You’re still chief’. Ralph laughed again (157). Golding uses imagery to set a mood of weakness in which a leader falls into when losing his leadership abilities like being a confident leader and no longer have any power over his society. He shows how power can make one lose the most important attributes that makes him/her a good leader for the society.
In a nutshell, one can observe what impact power has on leaders and how it can change them. What can be conclude is that the heavyweight of power and its responsibilities have a great impact on the leaders of a society, making them change their behaviors and lose important leadership abilities which then lead to the loss of power.
In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, many analyses have been made, provided with evidences to confirm the earlier hypothesis that power changes leaders and can easily destroy their lives and their self-esteem. With many examples from the entire book, we can see how two leaders in possession of power can change quickly and can go back to the primitive times where nobody was civilized and could live in the same community. These examples also provide evidences on how destructive power can be on a human being. Overtime, power can take control of the leaders lives and affect them emotionally and physically. This is what the leaders of our countries or communities should think of and find ways to avoid the damage caused by the dominant control of power over human nature.
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