An Analysis of Ralph Failed Democracy and Degenerated Into Tyranny in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Categories: Simon

The attempted democracy made by Ralph failed and degenerated into tyranny. This was caused by certain character defects of Ralph, Simon, and Piggy, but more notably by Jacks strong character. Jack, the tyrant of the novel, lured tribe members away from Ralph and into his own with meat, and as a result he produced a large army in order to carry out his evil. This tyranny prevailed over democracy and was a large theme throughout the novel.

Many character flaws aid in the rise of tyranny throughout The Lord Of The Flies.

Ralph was the chief of the island throughout the novel, even when Jack formed his own tribe. One reason that Jack formed his own tribe is that Jack ridiculed Ralph saying: Hes not a hunter. Hed never have got us meat. He isnt a prefect and we dont know anything about him. He just gives orders and expects people to obey for nothing. All this talk— (Chapter 8, page 126, Jack) Ralph defended himself rather poorly when criticized.

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The boys had confirmed that they had seen the beast so they would need some sort of protection. Ralph was smaller than Jack and it was only natural for the boys to choose Jack to be their leader. These character defects in Ralph became his downfall to preserve democracy on the island.

Piggy and Simon also had also possessed negative traits that seemed to help Jacks treachery. Piggy was constantly made fun of and was hated by Jack. In Chapter 1, Piggy revealed to Ralph that he had to wear glasses at a young age and that he had asthma, and revealed to him his suggestive nickname from school.

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Not only were these flaws of Piggy; the fact that Piggy had nothing to say to Ralph other than his own imperfection tells the reader that Piggy does not look at himself optimistically. Although he was very smart, his physical appearance did not quite relate with the rest of the boys.

These were Piggys negative traits. Simon, on the other hand, was more philosophical than Piggy and had more logic, however, he was too quiet to make any sort of leader. He occasionally went to his quiet spot in the forest to reflect upon the current events and rarely spoke to anyone. Piggy and Simon were Ralphs counsellors because they were the wisest boys on the island. When Jack saw that Ralph was relying on the guidance of Piggy and Simon, he spoke out to the rest of the boys and told them that Ralph could not think for himself and therefore was not a strong leader. These weaknesses in character assist the ascension of tyranny to a great extent.

Jack seemed to be more aggressive, physically stronger, and more motivational than any of the boys, including Ralph. After Jack lost the initial vote for chief, his choir was appointed to become hunters. This choir was large and supported Jack in every situation (with the exception of Simon). When the hunters failed to keep the fire going, Ralph became very upset and this may have sparked Jacks rebellion and tyranny.

He could not handle not being in charge and did everything he could to break away from Ralphs tribe. He did not seem to realize that the fire was more important than the meat and then presented the tribe with an ultimatum after the second election: Im going off by myself. [Ralph] can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too. (Chapter 8, page 127, Jack) The boys were interested in the meat and therefore left Ralphs tribe. Later in Chapter 8, Jack changed and became more authoritative and also took on a new name: Chief. This name gave Jack more confidence in his tribe and in himself. With a large tribe, Jack could do whatever he pleased and became a tyrant.

In conclusion, Ralph had fair rules and made a good effort to maintain democracy on the island, however, it was Jacks strong motivational skills and Ralph, Piggy, and Simons weaknesses that prompted Jack to create his own tribe. Jack intimated Ralph, Piggy, and Simon and this gave him the upper hand. Jack tyranny prevailed over democracy due to these character strengths and weaknesses.

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An Analysis of Ralph Failed Democracy and Degenerated Into Tyranny in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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