LoTF essay: Too Threatened To Speak Out

Too Threatened To Speak Out

Why do people follow leaders with whom they do not agree? Some people fear they are not heard, so they think they are perceived as weak and, consequently, lash out to make themselves feel stronger or face defeat. We live in an era were opinions matter to other people, but our vulnerabilities empower us to follow decisions with which some people may disagree momentarily. We  give other human beings power when our need for harmony among group members overpowers our understanding of what is right or wrong. Some people feel compelled to disregard their responsibilities and adopt the behaviors of their peers.a plane crashes, boys are stranded and try to find ways to get off the island. The author, William Golding exposes this behavior in his novel, Lord of the flies when his characters, such as the littluns, choose to ignore Piggy’s direction and follow Jack despite his irrational decision-making. Though our society has a history of questioning or attacking other peoples’ views in momentary disagreements, the groupthink phenomenon, which shows that people avoid controversial issues to maintain “group cohesiveness,” continues to exist. Golding demonstrates that groupthink overpowers human beings’ rational decision-making skills by exposing how the boys follow. The story shows that  groupthink occurs when humans choose strongest side to strive for group harmony and not be seen differently.

In the beginning of “Lord of The flies” by William Golding, the two boys Ralph and Piggy encounter each other after the plane crash. Once they met each other, they decide to look around the island for resources and people. While doing so, they found a conch and started to use it to lure boys from the crash. After all the boys are found, they decided to elect a leader with an unfair election. “Yeah let's vote for chief. Him with the conch Ralph he should be chief.” Ralph raised his hand for silence “All right, who want Jack for chief, with dreary obedience the choir raised their hands. Who wants me, every hand outside the choir except for piggy then piggy too raised his hand grudgingly into the air” (Pg 22-23). This quote shows how the theory of  groupthink works because as stated earlier, “occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressure.” It shows how groupthink works because if all the boys but the choir didn't raise their hand for Ralph, then Ralph would make fun of him because he was the odd boy out. It resembles groupthink because when the election occurred Piggy was under pressure and was afraid to express any argument or opinion so he just voted without any ethical thinking. This connects to reality because people feel pressured when their friends run for anything that contains power against others. People they feel pressured because when you are friends with somebody they would want you to vote or do something for them since you have the friend title.

The example from the lord of the flies closely resembles the “Survivorship bias” in terms of doing anything they say to get off the island. According to the website Mental Floss, it states that individuals would just act without thinking just to get in a position faster. An example from the website would be how everybody wants to be a entrepreneur because it's easy and you get a lot of money not thinking of how many people who failed. This makes the real world seem really unethical because they are acting without any thought of a effect on any move they make whether it's bad or good.  It also show how the boys are young minded because they only act without purpose and most kids who are 8 to 12 act without any motive.

Later in the novel two the boys decided to make plans, first plan was to make a fire and to get rescued earlier then they were. During this moment, hunger made the boys more anxious causing the boys to be easily irritated with Piggy because he wanted to keep a group near the fire and the choir can go out to hunt. Piggy lost his temper. “I got the conch I got the right to speak. Now look the first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach Piggy said to Ralph.  Shut up Jack said you didn't even count the littluns like ralph said.” (45 / 46) This quote demonstrates how groupthink overpowers an individual like Piggy because Jack showed ignorances towards Piggy which made him feel awful when all he was trying to do was make shelters to sleep in. It also didn't involve Jack it was him and Ralph. When reading the quote and readers can understand how Piggy felt during that moment because sometimes when people are trying to be a step further then others to help out or in the case they make shelters and get double teamed, it makes us feel awful.  While researching and reading over chapter 2 the word single minded came to the reader's mind. The word “single minded” came to the reader's mind because in the scene the boys aren't listening to Piggy’s idea they are just focusing on building a fire rather building shelter. This also connects to the real world because most people aren't heard in group activities it's mostly one person who has all their ideas spoken on and given through which isn't beneficial.

In the real world, the bandwagon effect plays a huge role with disagreeing and insulting. It plays a big role with how insults are created with group thinking because when researching a source for the bandwagon effect  it states “psychological phenomenon in which people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override.” This connects to group thinking because most people will start believing what others think or do because it is popular and they don't wanna be an outsider. The bandwagon can be seen as  negative or positive. The audience can see it as a negative viewpoint because individuals copy other people actions because they don't wanna be judged or made fun of. It can also be seen as a positive viewpoint because people like having someone to look up to based on style or personality. This connects back to the novel “Lord of The Flies” because jack made a situation that didn't involve him his business telling piggy to shut up and putting him down by telling him he can't even do his own part.  This example connects to the bandwagon effect because the bandwagon effect can be two or more people, in this case Jack decide to insult piggy and decline his suggestion because he wanted to be like Ralph in control.

Groupthink and insults  has always been a way for people to get work or solve arguments easier. It something that people will always do because they are scared of what be said if they didn't agree. Groupthink should not acceptable because we as human beings have a mind of our own and if we spoke our minds I think outcomes would be better. We as individuals will also get stronger from insecurities because we are called names and insulted daily.







Golding, William.Lord of The Flies.New york: Penguin group, 2006

“Bandwagon Effect.”.Caleb Silver, Investopedia, 9 May 2010

Wood, Jennifer M. “20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Decisions.” Mental Floss, 17 Sept.


Comments (4)

Kyla Gladney-Enos (Student 2020)
Kyla Gladney-Enos

I learned that people tend to agree with a person who's bigger or stronger than a person who is weaker and smaller. Honestly, I feel like I might have done it once or twice when I was a little girl. I didn't know there was a name for this behavior, and now that I do, I'm glad. Something that can help people not do this is to be open minded about things. You don't have to right to be big and strong.

Mamadou Samassa (Student 2020)
Mamadou Samassa

I was really intrigued by this particular essay as it dealt with things which aren't usually spoken about. Nowadays in our time and era, people are so self-preserved before speaking out, even though our law say's Freedom of speech, but then people will tell you what you can and can't say how do those connect? This problem has not been solved at all, because still, people are afraid of sharing their opinion then being shown bias because of what they think. This problem can be solved by learning each other's cultures and beliefs, and not focusing on what brings us apart, but together.

Kyle Thomas (Student 2020)
Kyle Thomas

I have learned a lot from reading this essay. For example, I noticed how you use the bandwagon effect and connected this in the book. Also, like in the real world, you can see how people just follow after one another just to stay within the crowd. I think that this behavior could be avoided because the only thing people have to do is not follow after one another and just be themselves. But from reading this essay it is good and well informative. Great Job Orlando.

Madison Siegel (Student 2020)
Madison Siegel

I have learned a lot from this essay. I have recognized in the past the way people follow what other people are doing, but I never knew that there was an actual name for it and how important it really is. There has been an effort to solve this scenario by everyone closing their eyes and voting, but the situation itself has not been solved. Maybe if people learn at a young age that they don't just have to go along with what everyone else says this problem can be resolved.