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Jack’s and Ralph’s Type of Leadership

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Jack’s style of leadership, while more despotic than that of Ralph, is ultimately more effective and realistic, given the circumstances. Discuss with reference to the novel.

In this essay I will describe both Jack’s and Ralph’s type of leadership, and compare the two and thus explain whether Jack’s leadership was more effective and realistic than that of Ralph’s.

Jack’s style of leadership is like that of a dictator’s leadership, where there is one powerful leader, and everyone has to listen to him. This is clearly shown in the text, when after they kill the beast (which was Simon of course), Jack says “He (the beast) may come (to our base) again even though we gave him the head of our kill” and Stanley says “But didn’t we, didn’t we (kill the beast)?” and then Jack cuts him off by saying “No”, because he needs the beast to induce fear in everyone and keep away from the cave. Another example of Jack’s despotic leadership is when he beats Wilfred, just to show that he is the leader, and no one would question him or his power. Also, Jack’s style of leadership allowed to democratic decision, and an example of this in the text is how Jack doesn’t take the conch, which symbolises democratism, back to his base,

We’ll now have a look at Ralph’s leadership, so we can compare the two. Ralph’s leadership, in my opinion, is more civilisation-like. This is because his ideas, and his style of leadership, leads to one ultimate goal, which is the rescue. Everything he does or every decision he makes has something to do with being rescued. An example of this is when he leads them to make the fire on the mountain, so the smoke comes up high and there is a better chance of getting rescued.

Ralph’s type of leadership is more effective at the start, because everyone has the hope of getting rescued, and Ralph’s leadership is based around getting rescued. Also, Ralph’s makes an impression to the boys when he blows the conch so everyone sees him as the leader and everyone likes the democratic ideas. However, all this changes after the plane goes past them, and there was no smoke from the fire for the pilot to see. After this conflict arises between Jack and Ralph, and when Ralph holds the assembly, he gets grumpy, and the boys see Ralph as ‘parent-like’, which is what they don’t want (with the exception of Piggy). They also see Ralph as a ‘weak’ leader, and thinks that he can’t protect them from the beast. Jack takes this opportunity and breaks away from Ralph’s tribe, with a few of the hunters following him shortly after. How ever, I think Ralph’s leadership is more realistic, because it is based around the idea of getting rescued.

Jack’s leadership, in my opinion, is more effective, because he induces fear into the other kids, and they see him as the powerful one, and everyone obeys him. An example of this is when it says in the text “… and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol. There were piles of meat on green leaves near him, and fruit, and coco-nut shells full of drink”. This shows that Jack made everyone ‘worship’ him. This might not work in a society but because they are isolated from civilisation, the rule ‘the fittest will survive’ applies. Also his leadership is more effective because he induces fear into everyone by talking about the beast, and gives them the idea that he is the only one that can protect them from the beast. This is the reason he kills Simon, because he knew that Simon knew the truth about the beast and was coming to tell the tribe about it. However, I wouldn’t think that Jack’s style of leadership is more realistic because the realistic option would be trying to get rescued, not just ruling over people.

In conclusion, Jack’s style of leadership, compared with Ralph’s leadership, is more effective because everyone obeys him, however, Ralph’s leadership is more realistic because it is based around the idea of being rescued, which is what they really need.

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