The Power of Others

The power of others is what drives people to do the things they do. However, that power is a difficult concept and much confusion can be centered around it. In William Golding’s novel, Lord of The Flies, the group of boys must quickly decide on a chief; someone to lead them. After not much debate, Ralph is named chief but the rest of the book shows that he alone is imperfect for the job. In fact, while most key characters show traits of being a great leader, they also have some drawback.

First, there is Ralph who, while he is smart and rather confident, lacks a true spine to control people. The there is Piggy, who is incredibly smart but gets overlooked and made fun of. Lastly, there is have Jack, who has what it takes to control people but can go way overboard and is highlyconclusive. All three characters show some righteous traits, and some rather disagreeable traits as well, indicating that no one person is going to be a perfect leader.

The book is trying to show that one person alone is not enough to lead the people in the best way possible and that power needs to be spread out among several people. One character who has both favorable and inauspicious qualities when it comes to leading is Ralph. For about ? of the book, Ralph remains chief meaning that there is something that makes him last that long and something that ends his rule. In Ralph’s case, what made him a leader is also what ends his rule. As the boys realize that they ought to have a leader, they start to immediately call for Ralph. They even recognize that the obvious choice would be Jack and that any sign of intelligence had come from Piggy. However, “there was a stillness about Ralph… that marked him out” and that makes the boys drawn to him (Lee 22). He looks and presents himself as a natural leader.

The boys are naturally interested in Ralph and he is perfectly willing to be chief. This is exactly the reason why the boys lose interest in him later in the novel. As Jack begins to make plans, people wake up and realize that they are only rooting for Ralph based on surface promises he had made. He wants to keep the fire going but fails to do so almost the whole book. He has had plans for making shelters but is unable to get others to help him. Not to mention, he never even went through with getting a list of names. Though Ralph confidently presents himself like a chief, his inability to get things done is what makes him an imperfect leader. Another one of the characters who is promising in some ways but who would not be a perfect leader is Piggy.

Piggy’s intelligence is recognized throughout the book and even in thefirst chapter. While this automatically makes him a strong candidate to be an effective leader, his pudgy frame and the fact that he wears glasses is enough to get made fun of for. This shows how the boys are unable to look past even appearance to select a reasonable chief. Also, Piggy’s insecurity about “what [the boys] call [him]” makes him vulnerable to bullying regarding his nickname (11).

Piggy simply cannot be chief because of people not takinghim seriously. Even though that’s not necessarily his fault and he is vt, it would be impossible for someone like Piggy, who is an easy target for bullies, to be chief. The last character who makes an attempt at being a good chief is Jack. While he unequivocally has the spine and the authority to be a leader, his decisiveness and thirst for power does not work in his favor. The boys quickly realize that Jack is the only boy on the island who can truly rally them together and provide them with food, all necessary things for them to survive on the island. The end to his rule only happens because they are rescued. He would’ve quite literally burnt the island to the ground if that hadn’t been the case.

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