Jack And Ralph's Contrasting Personalities Essay

1070 words - 4 pages

The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is about a group of stranded British boys on an island who must work toward rescue. A fictional “beast” is embedded in their minds and they live in fear of it. A conflict erupts because of the power struggle between two leaders, leading to chaos and separation of the group. They become savages physically and spiritually and eventually give in to evil, losing their innocence and causing the death of their members. Ralph and Jack lead by two different methods; fear and democracy, and have different priorities; hunting and rescue which they have different means of making those a reality.
Ralph’s ultimate goal is rescue and it is through his establishment of order that the boys temporarily remain sane. For example, when Ralph first finds the conch, he intends on blowing it to call and organize the boys for an assembly. This characterizes Ralph as a logical leader who leads by regulation. This shows the importance of organization to Ralph, which is how a leader should think, caring about all his people. In addition, he begins to build shelters after a while on the island so they can have protection against the strong heat or rain on the island. Shelter is one of the basic necessities for life and Ralph’s action of building those shows his commitment and hope for survival until they can become rescued. Furthermore, during their first assembly, Ralph suggests to build a fire so that if ships pass by they can see the smoke, as a sign of life. This is significant because it shows Ralph’s priority of rescue. It additionally shows not only does Ralph rule by order, but also with respect. He wants the other boys to obey his order, not by force, but because they respect him, as they should do to their leader. He continues to have hope for rescue through all the events that occurred, sometimes more than others, and he constantly tries to give that hope to the other boys who are hopeless and they eventually forget the purpose of the signal fire. Even after Jack has formed a new tribe the reader knows that he still has faith when he says, “Without the smoke signal we’ll die here?” (139). Moreover, Ralph calls another meeting, after noticing that no one seems to care to achieve their common goal of rescue and in that meeting addresses the errors such as the continuous burning of the fire and the fear of the boys. This shows his leadership qualities of trying to make rescue an actuality because the boys like the idea of freedom without parental supervision, following Jack's example, which Ralph opposes.
Jack’s savagery affects the boys negatively causing them to have fear of Jack and the island. For instance, when Jack explores the forest the second time specifically to hunt a pig, he asks Sam and Eric to join him. Those on the hunt with him paint their faces and eventually kill the pig and walk into the habited area chanting “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” (153) and when Ralph tells them that a ship...

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