In the novel, there is a clear, constant battle for leadership between two of the main characters, Ralph and Jack. The two characters are completely different- as you could say they are the antithesis of one another. In appearance, character, desires (as one wants control through order and civilization and one in self-entertainment). I am going to show how and why Jack Merridew is clearly a better, more appealing leader of the two.
First things first, an interesting scene is the one of the elections, at the start of the novel, as the author clearly emphasises the embarrassment and anger Jack feels as he loses the vote. Many judge this negatively, as to pointing out the selfishness and avarice of power Jack demonstrates, but turning the tables, you could also notice Jack’s confidence before the actual elections. This might suggest how Jack is completely sure he can be a better leader, which after turns out to be true towards the end of the novel.
Secondly, I would like to point out again how attractive Jack is towards the rest of the boys, as he satisfies completely their primal desires: fun, hunting, messing around. He shows this several times, one of them being: “he gave a wild whoop and leapt on the pale sand. At once the platform was full of noise and excitement, scrambling, screams and laughter.” This particularly evidences the esteem and admiration the kids feel towards Jack. This is a reason he could be a better leader. Who wants to be a boring, civilized loser, and not a courageous, enthusiastic hunter who likes to kill everything? Which kid would not choose a trusty and confident, skilful leader, over a weak, unstable drag, who can only rely on a fat chatterbox with no benefits of any kind? Therefore this means that
I would like to refer again to Ralph’s instability and lack of confidence, as he actually admits in a way to piggy, that Jack is much superior to him, and this is the worst thing a leader can do: not believe in himself. Even more severe is the fact that Ralph almost fears Jack, not only as a menace to his reputation and leadership, but also as a major threat to him. This is shown as Piggy states how Jack detests him, but also detests Ralph, “maybe because he’s the leader”. He simply says, “But he’s Jack Merridew!”
Another proof of Jack’s power of attention over the kids is after his speech: “Jack handed the conch and sat. The whole assembly applauded in relief.” He had just insulted most of the little kids, saying they were “a bunch of cry-babies” which “never helped doing anything”. But they applauded anyways; by this we can deduce that he is a general referring-point for all, as a brave, imponent figure. But in this case it is important to draw out the fact that Jack just gave spirit and taught a lesson to the littleuns.
To conclude the speech, I am going to finish by saying that Jack is certainly the most catchy and enthusiastic leader, and a perfect one, for boys and “littleuns”. Said, because even the author himself outlines this, by this last quote made by Ralph, which states Jack’s supremacy on him and the boys.
Courtney from Study Moose
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