Essay on Jack and Ralph’s Contrasting Personalities

The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is about a group of stranded British boys on an island who must work toward rescue. A fictional “beast” is embedded in their minds and they live in fear of it. A conflict erupts because of the power struggle between two leaders, leading to chaos and separation of the group. They become savages physically and spiritually and eventually give in to evil, losing their innocence and causing the death of their members. Ralph and Jack lead by two different methods; fear and democracy, and have different priorities; hunting and rescue which they have different means of making those a reality.

Ralph’s ultimate goal is rescue and it is through his establishment of order that the boys temporarily remain sane. For example, when Ralph first finds the conch, he intends on blowing it to call and organize the boys for an assembly. This characterizes Ralph as a logical leader who leads by regulation. This shows the importance of organization to Ralph, which is how a leader should think, caring about all his people. In addition, he begins to build shelters after a while on the island so they can have protection against the strong heat or rain on the island. Shelter is one of the basic necessities for life and Ralph’s action of building those shows his commitment and hope for survival until they can become rescued. Furthermore, during their first assembly, Ralph suggests to build a fire so that if ships pass by they can see the smoke, as a sign of life. This is significant because it shows Ralph’s priority of rescue. It additionally shows not only does Ralph rule by order, but also with respect. He wants the other boys to obey his order, not by force, but because they respect him, as they should do to thei…

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…l that best represents Jack’s style of leadership because they both represent evil, and cause chaos and fear, and receive gratification from that.

Golding’s message in the novel was that humans are evil and have the enormous capability of destruction. He conveys this point through the dialogue and actions of the various characters and the events that the boys cause. After Golding’s experiences in war, he saw the death of millions of innocent lives everywhere, which influenced him to write this novel. His idea of humanity is that they are all evil and those who are good, die or the ideas that they believe in and try to spread die. I agree with Golding’s idea because of the countless events in history and in the present, such as genocides and shootings, that show the evil in humans that overpowers the good of others.

Works Cited

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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