In Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, the two main characters, Ralph and Jack, are twelve years old on an island with no adults. Their power clashes against each other in their fight for control on the island. When Ralph makes decisions he thinks about what others want, but when he should be assertive he is not; Jack is a very effective leader because he identifies with the other boys, but he is immoral. Ralph and Jack’s strengths and weaknesses are what make them the kind of leader they were. During their time on the island they experience many challenges that tests their leadership abilities.
Ralph was chosen leader on the island because of his appearance, but most of the boys soon found out that he actually was a good leader. Ralph made decisions by including everyone in the group meetings because he wanted to hear their opinions and inform them about what was happening on the island. Ralph proved his bravery by leading - when no one else wanted to - the exploration into untraveled territory which they later became known as Castle Rock. Ralph’s weakness was that he allowed things get out of hand; for instance, Samneric went hunting with Jack, leaving their post of tending to the signal fire. Without anyone tending to the fire, no smoke was produced to draw the attention of the ship that sailed by the island. When Jack found out what had happened he could not stop talking about his hunt and did not seem to care that they could have got off the island. Being leader, Ralph should have given consequences and been stricter with rules towards Jack, showing his authority over him. Even at the beginning Ralph let Jack have control and did not stand up to him:
“Jack’s face swam near him[Ralph].
‘And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing--’
‘I’m chief. I was chosen.’
‘Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don’t make any sense--’” (Golding 91).
A brave leader is very good, but if Ralph had more control over the other boys it would have made him a more effective leader.
Jack gained his leadership by force. Despite that he did have some good leadership qualities. He was very persistent when he tried to get people to join his group of boys. Jack gave pork to the other boys because he understood how they felt. He also used pork to try to bribe the boys to join his group. Like Ralph, Jack had...