Democracy to Dictatorship in Lord of the Flies Essay

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Democracy to Dictatorship in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel that represents a microcosm of society in a tale about children stranded on an island. Of the group of young boys there are two who want to lead for the duration of their stay, Jack and Ralph. Through the opposing characters of Jack and Ralph, Golding reveals the gradual process from democracy to dictatorship from Ralph's democratic election to his lack of law enforcement to Jack's strict rule and his violent law enforcement.

Upon the arrival of the boys to the island Jack immediately found himself in the center of a power struggle. Although the conflict was brief, there was still a very obvious confrontation between
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Their punishment for slacking off was nothing, and so they got away with accomplishing nothing. Jack saw this along with many other flaws in Ralph's democracy and continually tried to force his style of governing over the boys.

Jack's view on how the group should be run didn't completely show through until he actually became the leader later on in the novel, but there were hints before that as well. His tendency towards strict leadership was evident ever since he and his choirboys were introduced as characters. He kept them very much in line. "The group of cloaked boys began to scatter from close line. The tall boy shouted at them. 'Choir stand still!' Wearily obedient, the choir huddled into line and stood there swaying in the sun" (Golding page #). He allowed them little room to maneuver, made them listen and follow orders without question.

Jack was a very power hungry young boy. Although he doesn't have any power at the beginning of the novel, he took every opportunity to take the position of chief and was eventually successful. Jack's dictatorial style of leadership contrasted very directly with the more democratic and passive style of Ralph. Jack ruled with an iron fist, allowing no one to question him or his leadership. Jack represented the wanting for a single, all-powerful leader to guide the followers of society using any means he feels necessary.
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