Representations within the Lord of the Flies novel


Right from the beginning of the novel, Ralph shows this leadership when he said “We’re having a meeting.”  When he said this all the boys (from ‘his’ choir) kept quiet and lined up. Even before he was elected the boys showed Ralph a lot of respect already.


When Ralph said “Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things”, when Ralph said that he is already leading the group in the write direction so they can survive survival. Ralph also shows an huge amount of initiative and a great deal of control, when most of the other boys are concerned with playing, having fun, and avoiding work. Ralph decides to build huts as a method of survival.


By being the first to tell them what to do and by showing initiative and by setting goals for the boys to follow, he prepares practical plans that will help the boys get rescued.“’You hunters! You can laugh! But I tell you smoke is more important than the pig, however often you kill one. Do all of you see?’ He spread his arms wide and turned to the whole triangle. ‘We’ve got to make smoke up there – or die.’” This quote displays how Ralph is attempting to maintain order and civilized behaviour. He is trying to tell them what do to help them so they will not die.  


The chaos is showed through the loss of control throughout the novel, power-struggle, and the fight for survival on the island. As a leader, Ralph possesses the quality of responsibility. “The storm broke. ‘Sit down!’, ‘Shut up!’, Take the conch!’, ‘Sod you!’, ‘Shut up!’ Ralph shouted.” This quote is demonstrating how Ralph takes control by acting responsibly in tough situations, and tries to create a mini-society filled with laws, that the group of boys have to follow. The problems that the boys faced were easier to resolve, due to Ralphs ability to keep the other boys calm and protected.The rules that Ralph had came up with, included using the designated toilet area and making sure that the signal fire never dies out, as well as, gathering water, and building shelters. By this time in the novel, the boys start disobeying these rules and there was failure not only with power and control, but on the island as well. Ralph calls a meeting to make sure the boys are safe, and to make sure that everything is running smoothly on the island. When Ralph has the idea that the kids should wait until morning to climb the mountain because it will be harder to destroy the beast at night, because all the kids are having nightmares about the beast, this shows the role of responsibility to ensure that everyone is safe and calm on the island.


The role of a good leader is displayed a number of times through Ralph’s courage and determination to be rescued, during his time on the island. He shows a great amount of courage and determination to be rescued, and to survive. Ralph’s commitment to society and morality is strong, and all he wants to do is leave the island and go home. This strength gives Ralph an ethical conquest at the end of the novel, when he throws the pig’s head to the ground to defend himself against Jack’s hunters. This shows the determination and courage that he uses to protect himself. In chapter six the boys reach a part of the island that they have never seen or visited before. They reach a thin walkway that leads to a hill scattered with small caves. The boys are afraid to venture across the walkway and around the ledge of the hill, and Ralph’s sense of courage is shown when he volunteers to investigate the area alone. As a leader, Ralph has to set an example for the boys on the island, and has to face many obstacles alone. This is why he has to show courage and determination in front of the kids to complete the obstacles. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.” This quote concludes the novel and shows how Ralph is relieved that he completed his goal of being rescued, and how he reflected back on the memories on the island, the memories of his good friend Piggy. He should have been happy but instead he was thinking about all the evil that is in all people.

To conclude that Ralph is indeed a superior leader in the novel “Lord of the Flies” ,he was able to possess the ability to show initiative, responsibility, courage and determination on the island. These characteristics all make him the great leader he is. He is able to take control and charge of a group, and he is there to guide and manage the group in many difficult situations. Ralph should recognize his contribution to the island, and how he made a great impact. Without him, the children on the island may have not been rescued.


Jack represents evil and violence, the dark side of human nature. A former choirmaster and “head boy” at his school, he arrived on the island having experienced some success in exerting control over others by dominating the choir with his aggressive attitude. He is very keen to make rules and punish those who break them, although he consistently breaks them himself when he needs to further his own interests.

The conflict on the island begins with Jack attempting to overthrow the group rather than working with Ralph to benefit it. He frequently undermines the power of the conch, declaring that the conch rule does not matter on certain parts of the island, but then uses the conch to his advantage when possible, such as when he calls his own assembly to criticize Ralph. For him, the conch represents the rules and boundaries that have kept him from turning into an animal. Their entire lives in the civilized world, the boys had been controlled by rules, set by society against physical aggression. On the island, however, that idea of rules fades rapidly from Jack’s mind. He quickly abandons the idea that in that world of politeness and boundaries, which is why he feels no need to keep the fire going or attend to any of the other responsibilities that the group has to do.


The dictator inside of him takes over and dominates Jack’s personality in the time of the the panic over the beast being seen on the mountain. In trying to blame Ralph, he uses his tries to twist Ralph’s words. In defense, he offers to the group a reason why hunting skills make for an effective leader, which is why “He’d never have got us meat,” . Jack put a high value on the boys who he finds useful or agreeable to his views and looks to silence those who do not please him. Boycotting the rules of order, Jack declares, “We don’t need the conch any more. We know who ought to say things.” He dictates to his hunters that they forget the beast and that they stop having nightmares.


As Jack establishes his leadership, he takes on the title of “chief” and reinforces the deception of station and power by using the other boys regularly telling the boys to raise their spears together and announce “The Chief has spoken.” This is no game to in the eyes of Jack, though; but the night of Simon’s death, Jack has clearly gone power-mad, sitting at the pig roast on a large log “painted and garlanded . . . like an idol” while “power . . . chattered in his ear like an ape.” His tribe calls him as “Chief,” indicating a form of more tribal leadership.

After been given the thrill of “irresponsible authority” he experienced on the island, Jack returns to civilization. When the naval officer asks who is in charge, Jack starts to step forward to challenge Ralph’s claim of leadership but is stopped perhaps by the recognition that now the old rules will be enforced.




Piggy is smart, has poor eyesight, a weight problem, and asthma. He is the most physically vulnerable out of all the boys, despite his intelligence. Piggy represents the rational world. By quoting his aunt frequently.Piggy acts as Ralph’s advisor. He cannot be the leader himself because he lacks leadership qualities unlike Ralph. He relies too much on people and the idea of the assembly. He believes that holding the conch gives him the right to be heard. He believes that holding social meetings will get results. As the brainy classic of civilization, Piggy asserts that “Life . . . is scientific.” Piggy complains, “What good’re your doing talking like that?” when Ralph brings up the highly charged issue of Simon’s death at their hands. Piggy tries to keep life scientific despite the incident, “searching for a formula” to explain the death.


Piggy is so intent on saving some fragment of civilization on the island, that he assumes that Jack’s raiders have attacked Ralph’s group so that they can get the conch, when of course they have come for fire. Even up to the moment of his death, Piggy’s perspective does not shift in response to the reality of their situation. He can’t think as others think or value what they value. Because his highly intelligent approach to life is modeled on the attitudes and rules of the authoritative adult world, he thinks everyone should share his values and attitudes. Speaking of the death of Simon and the little boy with the birthmark, he asks “What’s grownups goin’ to think?” he is not so much mourning over the boys’ deaths,  but mourning over the loss of values, ethics, discipline, and the civilized thinking that they young boys had lost.


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