Power In Lotf Essay

1507 words - 6 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

In the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, power portrays throughout the story in various types of situations. Power is important to this story because it influences each of the three major story elements. It is seen in clarifying a character’s traits, explaining a plot decision, and also relating to another theme. The story shows the different types of power, with their uses and abuses, and are central to the story.
William Golding’s interpretation of the characters in the novel Lord of the Flies, shows power in each of them. Each of the main boys approach the use of power in different ways, it tells a lot about the character and clarifies the characters traits. Ralph is the first lost boy we meet, and is chief. Also, he has the conch, the conch symbolizes power and order. Ralph gets a head start in the island in leadership. While most of the other boys are having fun, and avoiding work, Ralph sets about building huts and thinking of ways to maximize their chances of being rescued. Instead of getting caught up in the hunting bloodlust, he proposes something practical and sensible- to start a fire. “Something deep in Ralph spoke for him. ‘I'm chief. I'll go. Don't argue.”(114) Ralph is not the one agreeing to go look for the beast; it is the chief inside of him. He is a good example of how power can actually make you better. For this reason, Ralph’s power throughout the story has been for greater good. Another character that shows power is Jack, Jack’s use of power the complete opposite of Ralphs. From the beginning of the novel, Jack wants control. He wants to be leader but loses against Ralph. Jack becomes the leader of the hunters and says that hunting is the most important thing to do, not the signal fire. When the other boys nominate Ralph to be their chief, his character begins to change. “Jack's face swam near him. ‘And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing— just giving orders that don't make any sense—" (98). This shows an autocratic or dictator trait. He constantly threatens the other boys, and he always attempts to weaken others. Furthermore, in the course of events Jack is responsible for the death of Simon. He is one of the characters whose development comes out very clearly. First he is a strictly organized boy, but he changes and becomes a cruel dictator and represents violence and the misuse of power. Another character that shows power is Roger. When we were introduced to him, he prefers to be on his own. However, it soon becomes obvious that under that is a terror. Firstly, Roger likes to tease the younger ones, he also becomes the main assistant of the new chief, Jack. By the end, Roger has shown his real self to everyone on the island; by dropping the rock that kills Piggy. Sam and Eric tell Ralph about Roger, "You don't know Roger. He's a terror. And the chief—they're both—terrors, only Roger—" (209). Roger wants power because he likes the idea of...

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