Lord of the Flies

lord of the flies

Defend and/or criticize Ralph's actions as leader. What were his motivations? Did he contribute to the tragedy in any way? Could he have acted to prevent any of the deaths? What would you have done differently in his situation?

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Last updated by Aslan
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This is an essay question and too detailed for this short space. I can give you a general answer though. Ralph tries hard to establish some kind of working order. He truly is respectful of most of the boys. To be fair to Ralph, he spent most of the time trying to prevent Jack from turning their island into a living hell. Most of the boys did not want to invest energy into Ralph's ideas (like shelters or signal fire). Ralph is not forceful by nature and could not manipulate like Jack could. Although Ralph is a good leader, Jack is more effective. Jack is naturally aggressive. Ralph has gentleness about him even though he is one of the largest kids on the island. Initially most of the boys are attracted to Ralph's gentle manner but eventually reject him for Jack's aggressiveness. Unfortunately, what makes Ralph a desirable leader also hurts him. Ralph has trouble answering to Jack’ manipulation of the boys. Jack's underhanded tactics to undermine and humiliate Ralph are successful because Ralph plays by the rules of civility. The boys do not respect civility: they respect fear and intimidation.