"Lord of the Flies": Why Ralph is the Best Leader

Essay by i8cookiemonstrHigh School, 10th gradeB+, June 2008

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In Lord of the Flies, when a group of young boys are stranded on an island and left their own devices, a leader must be chosen. What separates a good leader is someone who cares for the greater good of the group and their well being rather than just caring about themselves. Some of the boys are better leaders than others and through characterization we see who is most capable of being chief. Ralph is the most qualified leader on the island because of his leadership skills, his talent of obtaining order, his unwillingness to let his id take over, and his democratic traditions.

Ralph’s leadership skills are what gets the boys’ support and motivates them towards a common goal. Shortly after all the children find each other Ralph’s first instinct is that the island should choose a leader. The boys hold an election and because of Ralph’s charisma and prestige they elect him.

While the other boys are interested in playing and having fun on the island, Ralph is thinking about ways to stay alive and get rescued. Ralph displays his leadership skills through his speeches and presence in front of an audience; he holds a meeting in which he proposes a signal fire and creates a new goal for the island, which is to keep the smoke signal going: “’A fire! Make a fire,’ [the boys shouted]. At once half the boys were on their feet” (38).

By setting rules and boundaries, Ralph creates order and peace on the island like a true leader. Using the conch, which first helped unify all the boys together, Ralph creates a method of organization. He forms a rule that only the person holding the conch, a symbol of order, has the right to speak and may not be interrupted, thus...