Lord of the Flies

How do jack and Ralph lead differently? What is each of the their motivation?

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Ralph is the first character we meet in The Lord of The Flies. He is the model of a leader. He is bright, athletic, the “golden boy.” He is chosen as leader and tries to lead as a civilized Englishman would. He attempts to organize the boys for the path of civilized survival until the rescue arrives. Shelters must be built, food must be found, and most of all a fire must be built and maintained so that a rescue ship can see their smoke.Things begin to fall apart. Jack wants to hunt. He wants meat and he wants leadership. Ralph is increasingly intimidated by Jack. He continues to back down and chaos continues to grow. Did Ralph contribute to the tragedy? Ralph was naïve. He thought right would just naturally win out but by the end he was no better than a hunted pig. He could have acted to prevent the deaths, but he was paralyzed by fear. If finding myself in the situation, I would probably try to act like Ralph only with more courage and discipline. Yet, we never know how we will react until we are in that situation.



Well, I'll begin with the first. Jack is motivated at different times by a desire to be in control and a desire to kill. In the beginning, he continually challenges Ralph's authority, drawing attention to himself as often as possible. At first, he relishes the power he gains by withholding meat, being able to distribute it as he wishes. Yet as the story progresses, he turns into a savage hunter, thinking only of the thrill of the hunt. This applies equally to pigs and people, as he ruthlessly pursues Ralph. His attitude is one of condescension and aggression, as he violently assaults Piggy, and threatens the other boys.

Roger is essentially a sadist. He is motivated by the pleasure he gains from hurting others. The first killing of the sow is an example of this, as he not only stabs the pig, but tortures it. This idea of torture comes back later when Samneric tell Ralph that Roger "has sharpened a stick at both ends." Roger could care less for order or hunting or authority: he only wants to hurt. It is he who kills Piggy, and he most likely tortures Samneric as well.

Ralph is motivated by a desire to keep order, although he himself slips into savagery at various times. He participates in the murder of Simon, lured into it by the thrill of the dance and having gorged himself on meat. However, he generally looks out for the interests of everyone, attempting to build shelters, & to keep the signal fire going. He is constantly frustrated in his efforts by Jack and his hunters, and the tension between the two leads to the climax of the novel.

Finally, Piggy is motivated, like Ralph by a desire to create a society resembling the one from which they have come. He is terrified of losing his glasses, which are a symbol of insight and a connection to the lost society. He is the scholar of the group, having all the good ideas, and always advising Ralph on the next step. Yet he is weak, and fat, and cannot defend himself against Jack and the others. Ultimately, he dies as a sacrifice to the beast that has been unleashed within each boy.



That article is detailed but I think on the whole, Jack embraces the dark side of human nature and Ralph embraces a more egalitarian side. Jack is motivated by power and violence while Ralph wants these boys to survive. Unfortunately Jack is more effective in swaying the boys to his side.