Leadership Qualities in the Lord of the Flies

Essay add: 29-09-2015, 19:58   /   Views: 1 471
Leadership Qualities in the Lord of the Flies

A leader is needed on the island. The people we have to choose from are Ralph, Piggy, Jack and Simon because of their certain leadership qualities. Ralph is a good leader as he takes care of everyone on the island. Piggy would make a good leader, as he is very practical and scientific. Jack would also make a good leader, as he is popular because of his survival skills. Simon would make a good leader, as he is concerned about the ‘beast’ and knows what is going on, on the island. These are the leadership qualities present in these boys and we have to choose one of them. I will give my opinion on which the best leader could be by analyzing their qualities in more depth.

The first and most obvious leader is Ralph. Ralph was picked “Chief” because of his leadership qualities. He is the one in command and is giving all the orders on what to do on the island. One of the examples of him giving orders would be to Piggy. Ralph says in Chapter 1, “Now go back, Piggy, and take names. That’s your job. So long.” Though Ralph likes to give orders and likes to tell people what to do he often takes peoples ideas. One of these ideas is building shelters. This idea is from Piggy as he says it holding the conch. He says that, “The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach…” The conch is created because of this. The conch helps Ralph gather people’s ideas and opinions through the form of “an assembly”. The assembly helps to bring unity to the children. During the assembly Ralph asserts his authority and makes rules. In one of the assemblies he says, “Now I say this and make it a rule, because I’m chief.” At this assembly many rules are made and this is one of them. Here you do not see a twelve-year-old boy but a natural grown leader.

Ralph is a good leader except for the fact that he still has some childlike qualities. For example he forgets the word “rescue” in one of his speeches and Piggy reminds him of it. A clear reminder is given that Ralph is still a child when he says; “I ought to give up being chief” Here Golding evidently portrays that Ralph is not an adult and has an immense burden to carry and wants to give it up. One thing Golding definitely shows us is that Piggy is Ralph’s mentor as Ralph gets all his ideas from Piggy e.g. rescue and shelters and also because he is one of Ralph’s only followers when Jack mutinies and forms another tribe on the island. Therefore this shows us that Ralph is not the best leader on the island.

Now I shall talk about Ralph’s mentor, Piggy. Piggy from the very beginning is the figure of fun and ridicule. Nearly all the boys on the island except for Ralph mock him. Everyone makes fun of his name by shouting and teasing him. This actually shows how strong Piggy is as nearly throughout the novel he is being mocked and he never gives up hope that the boys will finally listen to him. In the beginning of the novel Golding shows how naïve Piggy is as he puts his trust in Ralph and is betrayed. He asks Ralph why he did this, “…I said not to tell and you went an’ said straight out-” It is not fair on Ralph’s part to do this, as Piggy trusted him very much with this secret and he asked, “So long as you don’t tell the others-“.

Though Piggy is made fun of he is the most sensible, realistic and scientific person on the island. Piggy says, “…Life,’ said Piggy expansively,’ is scientific, that’s what it is…” this is very interesting, as I would never imagine a ten or twelve year old boy talking like this. This is one of Piggy’s most important qualities. Though Piggy is not the leader his ideas are still used by Ralph. This helps Piggy feel a sense of leadership and in control. When Ralph tries to give up being the ‘chief’ Piggy encourages him not to do this. He says, “You stop talking like that! We got enough trouble, Ralph, an’ I’ve had as much as I can stand…” This is Piggy’s way of heartening Ralph that he should carry on being ‘chief’.

Something you always see in Piggy throughout the novel is that he is afraid of Jack. He even mentions this himself when he says, “I’m scared of him,’ said Piggy, ‘and that’s why I know him…” I think that Piggy is scared of Jack because he feels that if Ralph became better friends with him than Piggy then he will not listen to Piggy’s ideas any more. Piggy even embeds this thought into Ralph’s mind when he says, “If Jack was chief he’d have all hunting and no fire. We’d be here till we died.” This is a very good example why Piggy doesn’t want Ralph to give up being chief. Though Piggy has the understanding of some things that are going on, on the island Piggy doesn't make the best leader because no one listens to him.

Jack is the next character I would like to talk about. Jack is a very savage and ferocious character. His animalistic instincts help him to gain popularity over the children on the island. Golding describes him like an animal when he uses descriptions like, “on all fours” and “ape-like”.

You can see a sense of leadership in Jack when he first enters into the novel. His posture and how he is built is perfect for a leader. He is like a natural born leader when Jack gives orders. He says to his choirboys, “Choir! Stand still!” Here you can see that Jack is an experienced leader and knows when to give orders and likes to feel in command. Even though Jack is not picked ‘chief’ he likes to make up his own rules. He says to Piggy, “The conch doesn’t count on top of the mountain…” This is Jack trying to feel in control even though he is not ‘chief’.

Through Jack, Golding reveals the urge in human nature to kill and destroy. Jack says, “Rescue? Yes, of course! All the same, I’d like to catch a pig first-“ Here Golding shows us that Jack is not concerned anymore about rescue but instead would like to hunt and kill.

Jack even makes up his own chant with his hunters. “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.” This chant shows how much the hunters and Jack have regressed. Not only that they regressed but also they are thriving on killing and are obsessed with it. It shows how bloodthirsty the boys have become and are now actually worshipping killing and making it their God. Jack has the popularity vote because of this cruel and savage behavior of his. The children probably think that this is a very exciting thing to do at this age and they are not interested in Ralph and Piggy’s boring ideas of ‘rescue’. Though Jack some certain leadership qualities he still could not make the best leader because he is not sensible enough or practical.

My next and final leader would be Simon. Simon is the most sensible, practical and philosophical person on the island. He has an understanding of what is going on, on the island and knows what is happening. Simon is not to old but still is more aware of what is going on than all the other leaders.

Simon is more aware about the ‘beast’ than anyone. For example his philosophy about the beast, he says, “What I mean is…maybe it’s only us.” By saying this Simon actually says that the ‘beast’ is inside of them. This is very important as here he is equating the ‘beast’ with the evil inside of them. Through this Simon is saying that human nature has evil inside of it and not everyone can be placed inside of a category of good or bad. There is good and bad inside each of us. It depends which side we choose to encourage for example Jack is encouraging the bad and Ralph is encouraging the good.

This philosophy of his is actually carried on by him when he starts to talk to the Lord Of The Flies. The Lord Of The Flies says, “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you…” Here the Lord Of The Flies symbolizes the evil inside of everyone. It is surprising that Simon can really reach into himself and talk to it. Here Simon is not just a little boy but a good philosopher.

Exploring is one of Simon’s hobbies because he does that a lot. During one of these explorations he finds the Lord Of The Flies and during another he finds what the boys think is the ‘beast’. He discovers that it is only a dead parachutist. This shows that Simon is not just a philosopher but he is also a man with courage, as he doesn’t get scared of the parachutist like the others but realizes what it is.

Though Simon is a good leader he also has some flaws in him. First of all Simon is a very weak boy with some kind of disease. The first time you see him Golding shows you that he is weak by writing, “…Then one of the boys flopped on his face in the sand and the line broke up. They heaved the fallen boy to the platform and let him lie...” Golding also gives us another example of him being week when Simon is with the Lord Of The Flies. He writes, “…He fell down and lost consciousness.” This actually shows us how intense the pressure is of knowing so much that Simon went into a fit.

Simon is also a very shy boy though he knows a lot. He doesn’t tell to many people what he is thinking because he is always made fun of when he does. For example, “Simon’s effort fell about him in ruins; the laughter beat him cruelly and he shrank away defenseless to his seat…” Though Simon does this does not make him a bad leader as his philosophies are rejected and as he is timid and shy he returns to his seat. Not only do the boys reject his philosophies but also the boys do not understand what idea he is trying to convey to them as his maturity and mental level above theirs.

I think that Simon is the best leader on the island as he has the best idea of what is going on. He would make a good leader, as there would be peace on the island and no separate tribes as Simon would listen to everyone and give good responses to their questions. If his idea of the beast was listened to no one would be scared and afraid and there would be unity on the island.

Article name: Leadership Qualities in the Lord of the Flies essay, research paper, dissertation