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Lord of the Flies by William Golding – Short Summary Essay Sample

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding – Short Summary Essay Sample

In many cases of life, power is often misused or abused, because someone is greedy or wants something they shouldn’t have. In this case, of Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of boys are stranded on an island and have to make a working society within themselves and their rules, but the power is used in the exact opposite way. Ralph was elected chief, however he often let the group down and Jack would lead most operations on the island. Ralph lets others on the island know when he was scared, and it seemed he always needed someone to help him make decisions. But Jack appeared to be the biggest reason for destruction on the island. Golding suggests that things on the island break up because Ralph does not understand the power thrust upon him and is not able or willing to exercise it effectively.

Fear had a very large role in why chaos came over the island and many of the boys. The boys were scared as it was, being dropped on an abandoned island in the darkness, with no food or any way of being saved, and Ralph’s actions as leader did not always help. Especially when he let the other boys know he was scared they became more frightened not having their chief to look up to, and eventually chaos took more and more of the boys. Ralph, when hunting, told the hunters and Jack, “Of course I’m frightened. Who wouldn’t be?” (Pg.109 Lord of the Flies), to Jack, giving him all the more reason to take over the group and hunt down the beast, instead of hiding and being scared of it. When the rest of the boys foud out about the hunt, Ralph and Jack had one of their first fights, leading to him and most of the boys leaving and making their own camp. Ralph was afraid to make some of the choices and lead the group through all the obstacles they encountered, causing the destruction and disorder on the island.

Throughout the book Ralph presents the group with ideas and plans brought to him by other characters, most of which are Piggy’s. He rarely thought out plans on which the group of boys could be kept under order and relied mostly on Piggy’s mind for his suggestions to make rules or judgments. Even when Ralph made a ruling, it was ignored or used differently because it was not enforced or Jack thought it was a “Stupid” rule. Ralph never stood up against Jack when he ignored a rule and let most things for him and his hunters slide. Jack never liked the rule about the conch, and not very long into the book he quoted, “Conch! Conch! We don’t need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things.” (pg.111 Lord of the Flies), showed just how Jack defied Ralph’s ruling and how easy Ralph let rules slip for them. Ralph let the group of boys break up and slowly apart by not enforcing rules and having a working system of rules in place.

Although Ralph doesn’t show to be the best leader, a lot of the things on the island would not have happened and chaos would not have broken out if the leader of the choir Jack Merridew was not on the island. Ralph was elected leader, but Jack and him competed for respect of the group from the first day on the island. If Jack was not there on the island, Ralph would have had full control over the boys and none of his ideas of hunting and making a new tribe would be stuck in their heads. He would also have had no one to fight against his rulings and any rules that were made would have been followed by everyone in the group. Jack started his own “Tribe” when he left the group and many of the older boys, followed by the younger ones joined his new camp and left Ralph’s. Jack quoted during the fight before he left, “I’m going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too” (pg.140 Lord of the Flies), and he stormed off forming his own camp, while Ralph’s power and rules grew smaller and smaller. If Ralph would have done a better job as chief the group of boys wouldn’t have turned to a new leader, and destruction on the island may have been avoided.

The island, and all the boys on it, fell to chaos because Ralph was not a strong enough leader to govern and enforce the society the boys were now living in and another was made. He let fear and madness drive into many of the boys, causing most of them to go crazy and become savages. He let the rules and plans of their society fall to ruin, and eventually let his rivals group take over, and he ended up leaving himself with absolutely no power on the island, and all of his peers on a search to murder him.

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