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Caylee Rogers

and Nina Popovski


Mrs. Cracchiolo
10 Honors English
28 October, 2016
The Balance of Qualities for a Leader
There are a variety of leadership of styles in which different leaders possess, and some
are beneficial while on the other hand, some can lead to disaster. Some characteristics are crucial,
but only in moderation. In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, it is evident that
certain leadership qualities are taken out of proportion. The protagonist, Ralph, portrays a
balanced, responsible leader who respects the opinions of others and has good priorities. Jack,
the antagonist, represents a reckless, narcissistic leader who abuses their power rather than
maintaining his ability to be humble. Ralph is the most successful leader due to strong moral
compass and intelligence, and Jacks leadership style less prosperous due to his abuse of power
and selfishness that led to the demise of his society.
Ralphs strong moral compass has led him to become a successful leader for his
community because it distinguishes from the other boys who are becoming reckless. The mindset
of a leader is very crucial because that designated person must take control of situations, make
decisions, and overall be a good example for those within the community. The morning after the
boys kill Simon, it seems as if the other boys were not concerned with what has happened. Ralph
on the other hand seems to be one of the only people who felt extreme guilt and could not grasp
the fact that he took part in something so unethical and disturbing. Still shaken, Ralph says That
was Simon...That was murder,(Golding 142). By his words, it is evident that he has been

emotionally and mentally damaged due to his immoral actions. The fact that Ralph is one of the
only boys to have this mindset is crucial because it shows that his mind is still in the right place
and that he is fit to be the leader thus guiding the boys in a good direction and proving Ralph to
have successful leadership qualities. In addition, Ralph exhibits the quality of intelligence which
reflects his priorities. ... if we have a signal going, theyll come and take us off. And another
thing. We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, thats a meeting. The same up her as
down there,(39). In the following passage, Ralph states all of his priorities and rules based off of
what he believes will benefit the group the most. He has common sense which many of the
characters have been starting to lack. In contrast, Jack believes in the complete opposite and his
priorities and moral compass have diminished. Establishing rules, planning out a survival and
rescue method, and emphasizing the need for rules all come from Ralphs strong and intellectual
judgement which thus contribute to his success as a leader.
Due to his abusive personality and selfishness, Jack is a poor leader. When he finally
became a leader and separated from Ralphs community, he threw a feast. The author described
this scene as follows, Before the party had started a great log had been dragged into the center
of the lawn and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol. There were piles of meat on
green leaves near him, and fruit, and coconut shells full of drink (Golding 137). This feast was
thrown as Jacks celebration of the overthrow of Ralphs power over the community. One of the
first things he did as the new leader was throw a feast and kept most of the food and drink for
himself. By taking most of the food and drink that will likely go unused, he is taking necessities
away from the rest of his tribe. A good leader would think of the future and how his people could
eventually lack this requirement to live. Moreover, he ties up Wilfred, a member of his own tribe,
with a lack of reason. There is a conversation between two other members, Roger and Robert,

that reads, Hes going to beat Wilfred. What for? Robert shook his head doubtfully. I dont
know. He didnt say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up. Hes been he giggled excitedlyhes been tied up for hours, waiting (Golding 147). Jack does not explain why his is going to
beat Wilfred. A good leader would not purposely injure a member of his community without
giving a reason why. In addition, he is abusing his power to hurt Wilfred because he should not
have the right to have other members help him punish Wilfred just because he is angry. Jack
misuses his power by being selfish and irrational, which is likely what lead to a couple of the
deaths of the inhabitants of the island.
Conclusively, Ralphs moral compass and intelligence are evidently the main
contributions to his success as a leader, and Jacks reckless behavior of abusing his power and
acting selfish result in him being an unsuccessful leader. To reiterate, Ralph displays his strong
ability to be a great leader by being one of the only boys to feel guilt after participating in the
death of Simon due to his strong moral compass and his intelligence in planning out the rules
while also having his priorities straight in order to benefit the group. Jack is overall an
unsuccessful leader because he is violent, selfish, and overly decisive. He cannot set a good
example for his people due to his lack of morals and care for other people. Overall, Ralph has
made it clear that the community will prosper from his leadership.