Democracy To Dictatorship In Lord Of The Flies

1120 words - 4 pages

Democracy to Dictatorship in Lord of the Flies

     Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel that represents a microcosm of society in a tale about children stranded on an island. Of the group of young boys there are two who want to lead for the duration of their stay, Jack and Ralph.  Through the opposing characters of Jack and Ralph, Golding reveals the gradual process from democracy to dictatorship from Ralph's democratic election to his lack of law enforcement to Jack's strict rule and his violent law enforcement. 


Upon the arrival of the boys to the island Jack immediately found himself in the center of a power struggle. Although the conflict was brief, there was still a very obvious confrontation between Jack and Ralph. Once the boys had assembled themselves there was an election to see who was to be chief. Despite the fact that Ralph was voted leader, the desire to be in command never left Jack. Jack already had some leadership skills, being head choirboy at his old school, and he continuously challenged Ralph.  The greatest source of conflict between Jack and Ralph was the debate over the necessity of maintaining a fire. Ralph felt that it was necessary to keep it burning at all times while Jack believed that hunting pigs and getting meat was much more essential.


Ralph was elected shortly after their arrival to the island, but his time in power came to end quite gradually. He tried to run his group through a democratic type system in which all major decision were first discussed at an assembly before they were put into action. At these assemblies his views were questioned not only by Jack, but by the other boys as well. Even the ideas that the assembly could agree on usually weren't put into action due to the fact that Ralph would not enforce them. They had decided to build huts to live and sleep in, but after only a few hours most of the boys had gotten bored and left. Their punishment for slacking off was nothing, and so they got away with accomplishing nothing. Jack saw this along with many other flaws in Ralph's democracy and continually tried to force his style of governing over the boys.


Jack's view on how the group should be run didn't completely show through until he actually became the leader later on in the novel, but there were hints before that as well. His tendency towards strict leadership was evident ever since he and his choirboys were introduced as characters. He kept them very much in line. "The group of cloaked boys began to scatter from close line. The tall boy shouted at them. 'Choir stand still!' Wearily obedient, the choir huddled into line and stood there swaying in the sun" (Golding page #). He allowed them little room to maneuver, made them listen and follow orders without question.


Jack was a very power hungry young boy.  Although he doesn't have any power at the beginning of the novel, he took every opportunity to take the position of chief and was...

Find Another Essay On Democracy to Dictatorship in Lord of the Flies

Author motive in "Lord of the Flies."

558 words - 2 pages All of man will destroy itself. Proving this is William Golding's purpose in writing "The Lord of the Flies", a story about a group of boys stranded on a deserted island. When the boy's priorities clash, a war breaks out between protagonist Ralph and shortsighted antagonist Jack, who instead of being rescued would rather hunt. The fight for power between them soon turns to violence. Golding uses these boys as a scaled down model of what the

Religious theme in Lord of the Flies

1276 words - 5 pages quite strong. Did Golding intend for the reader to discount the theme of man's inner-self being evil in order to accept the religious persecution theme? This is not the case. The two themes, must be taken together to depict Golding's grim indictment of man's nature. He shows that when 'the Lord of the Flies' - be it the Devil or man's evil nature - is allowed to take over, disaster occurs. In Jesus's time, the Devil was allowed to take over

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

1654 words - 7 pages and none of the boys would have survived. As a child about the same age of the boys in Lord of The Flies, Golding read R.M. Ballantyne’s Coral Island. According to Reynolds, Ballantyne’s Coral Island is an adventure novel about shipwrecked boys that provided Golding with similar plot ideas that he used in Lord of the Flies. Golding’s use of the names Jack and Ralph are both from Ballantyne’s Coral Island (Reynolds). The boys in Lord of the Flies

Themes in "Lord of the Flies"

684 words - 3 pages because childhood innocense is disrupted as the group hunted animals and even their own. Through the use of literary techniques these ideas are seen in the passage where Simon confronts the “Lord of the Flies.” The central concern of Lord of the Flies deals with the fall of civilization to the awakening of savagery. The conflict seen in this theme is explored through the dissolution of the young boys’ well mannered behavior as they accustomed

Lord of the Flies

1580 words - 6 pages Nature or nurture? A question frequently asked but hard to answer or prove. This is where William Golding steps in. He writes a novel about a group of schoolboys stranded on an island, fighting to survive. Instead of acting how they have been taught by society, they turn into a disaster, breaking up into separate groups, having celebrations to hunt pig, and killing each other. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding, inspired by The Coral Island

Biblical Allusions in Lord of the Flies

726 words - 3 pages Simon's sacred area. Finally, if you observe Simon's death, you see that as he drifts off to see glowing unicellular organisms engulf his body and create a halo around his head, creating the visage of a saint. In the Novel, the image of Satan is portrayed by the pigs head representing the satanic, or evil, side of the children. The Pig’s head, dubbed Lord of the Flies and as one of Satan's names is Beelzebub (Mt. 12:24) which means "Lord of

Cruelty In Groups - "Lord Of The Flies."

580 words - 2 pages In "Lord of the Flies", William Golding depicts a story of a group of boys who are stranded on an island. On this island, it is obvious that with the negative influence of Jack, the boys behave more cruelly in groups than they do individually. In this novel, William Golding shows the cruel state of the group that is led by Jack Meridew by integrating such factors as freedom, peer pressure and power.Freedom is a critical factor to groups being

Inherent Evil in Lord of the Flies

820 words - 3 pages Lord of the Flies provides one with a clear understanding of Golding's view of human nature. Whether this view is right or wrong is a point to be debated. This image Golding paints for the reader, that of humans being inherently bad, is a perspective not all people share. Lord of the Flies is but an abstract tool of Golding's to construct the idea of the inherent evil of human nature in the minds of his readers. To construct this idea of the

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

2584 words - 10 pages Symbolism in Lord of the FliesIn Lord of the Flies, William Golding wanted to show his readers the true meaning of a real world. He wanted to show that reality is not always perfect. Instead of comradeship, co-operation and teamwork, like described in the ideal world - William Golding has created a murderous, bloodthirsty and evil society that has accurately represented the world that society exists in today. In an ideal world, hard-work plays

Inherent Evil in "Lord of the Flies".

739 words - 3 pages "Lord of the Flies" provides one with a clear understanding of Golding's view of human nature. Whether this view is right or wrong is a point to be debated. This image Golding paints for the reader, that of humans being inherently bad, is a perspective not all people share. "Lord of the Flies" is but an abstract tool of Golding's to construct the idea of the inherent evil of human nature in the minds of his readers. To construct this idea of the

Social Allegories in Lord of the Flies

1006 words - 4 pages The Lord of the Flies if taken at face value can be taken as a short book about the struggle to stay alive on a deserted island and its physical and psychological influences on its residents. However, when the reader looks deeper, they see a story that is an allegory filled with rich and detailed imagery in almost all facets of the novel. An allegory is defined as a type of writing that presents abstract ideas or moral principals in the form of

Similar Essays

Leadership And Dictatorship: "Lord Of The Flies"

810 words - 3 pages leader might be able to save them.Since he was brought up in a society that looked up to those who stood for justice and upheld rules, Ralph, the main character in Lord of the Flies, has the attributes of a true leader; one who takes charge, shows intelligence, and leads a democracy. Early on in the book, Ralph suggests the idea of someone being “the chief” of the group, they then proceed to have an election between Ralph and Jack, and

Democracy In Lord Of The Flies

858 words - 3 pages shows another promise Jack gives the boys. It also shows how jack is slowly captivating these savages on his side allowing his system of government to expand. In addition, Jack is always referred to as Chief in Lord of the Flies which represents the tribal savagery. In Lord of the Flies the boys start out civilized and then slowly decline into savagery. The main reason for that is because they followed Jack’s totalitarianism. As a

The Line Between Democracy And Totalitarianism In Lord Of The Flies

1241 words - 5 pages Jack and Democracy and Totalitarianism. At an ordinary meeting, one boy stands up who was “a shrimp of a boy, about six years old, and one side of his face was blotted out by a mulberry –colored birthmark” (Golding 35). This boy, although shy and disfigured, is given the opportunity to speak by Ralph. This tiny boy exemplifies that in a democratic society, everyone is allowed to speak even the littlest of the voices. Then, Jack attempts to

Lord Of The Flies Essay

595 words - 2 pages of evil and corruption. Simon is portrayed as the seeming messiah that collapses in sight of the Lord of the Flies and is later slaughtered. The main theme of Lord of the Flies is that man is corrupt. Left to their own inclination, innocent children become ravenous, savage beasts killing their own kind. The novel holds that evil is intrinsic in humanity and has to be acknowledged and made subservient. The liberty bestowed upon them deviates into an atrocity and ensues in demise. Companionship diminishes into dictatorship, selfhood, and collectively holocaust.