Betrayal by Leadership

What qualities make a good leader? People have different leadership styles and some people respond well to only specific leadership styles. Human beings look to work alongside and under leaders in whom they have faith. Leaders they are comfortable with will make them feel safe. However, what do people look for when their leader is losing their leadership power? Typically with humans, if somebody is afraid of their own actions they choose or make up something else to scapegoat. To them they believe that their scapegoat justifies the action. The Lord of the Flies demonstrates that in society, people will often not take responsibility for their destructive actions and blame it on something else.

In the novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of British school boys are stranded on an island. The boys, who have never been alone in the wild before decide to come together in order to survive and work together to find a way for them to be rescued. The leader of the hunters breaks off and slowly it goes from the rest of the hunters going him to most of the boys joining him. By Chapter one the original leader, Ralph is on his own. By exposing readers to Ralph’s betrayal, William Golding emphasizes how contexts, particularly those that are isolating, influence how people treat one another. Despite Ralph’s strong relationship to the other boys in the beginning of the narrative, he is betrayed because his leadership approach is ineffective. This is a challenge that people come across in their lives and sometimes some people’s betrayal is larger than others. Ralph gradually loses his grip on his fellow boys after a while, forcing him  to lose his power in leadership. The team members begin to dislodge themselves from the team before Ralph even knows it.

Jack does not agree with Ralph’s plans for the fire - to just leave the beast alone. Jack feels insulted by Ralph and believes that Ralph is not a fit leader - Jack doesn’t want to play their games - he runs off and builds his own fire - Ralph notices that there are few bigger kids in his tribe and so the hunters and big kids abandon him.

An example from the book where they refuse to take responsibility was when Jack, Maurice, and Robert steal fire from Ralph’s tribe. After this occurs Ralph and his tribe refuse to take responsibility for their fighting because they are ashamed that they inflicted harm on each other for their blindness in the dark; they are afraid of themselves (for their unspeakable actions). Like with Ralph and his tribe, people in society bring harm upon themselves, but in the end they refuse to admit their flaws and apologize because they believe they will only embarrass or further harm themselves. After Jack, Maurice, and Roger decide to attack Ralph’s tribe Ralph wakes up to noises and other people fill into his hut. “Ralph twisted sideways on top of a writhing body and felt hot breath on his cheek. He began to pound the mouth below him, using his fist as a hammer… A knee jerked up between legs and fell sideways… “I got my knee up,” said Eric with simple pride, “and I hit him in the pills. You should have heard him holler!... (after the fight) Ralph moved suddenly in the dark; but then he heard Eric working his mouth. “What’s the matter?” “Jus’ a tooth loose.” (pgs 167-168) After this the boys realize that they were actually fighting themselves rather than attacking Jack and his team mates.

Comments (1)

Ivan Lopez (Student 2020)
Ivan Lopez

I learned that People sometimes don't take responsibility for what the things they do. This could be solved if one person takes the responsibility to admit they are wrong.