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In the novel Lord Of Flies, Jack and Ralph are the two most important characters. They are different in term of their leadership abilities. Furthermore, they represent two opposite sides of the human nature. But despite their differences, they also have similarity.


Jack and Ralph both have fears. Being the biggest boys on the island, both boys are not immune of fears. Jack is frightened when he is alone in the forest hunting the pig. Jack says to Ralph in the novel, ¡°If you¡¯re hunting sometimes you catch yourself feeling as if ¨C There¡¯s nothing in it of course. Just a feeling. But you can feel as if you¡¯re not hunting, but ¨C being hunted, as if something¡¯s behind you all the time in the jungle¡± (p5). Ralph also has fears. He even admitted it in the meeting, ¡°I¡¯m frightened myself, sometimes¡± (p8). Both Jack and Ralph are afraid of the beast. When they see the dead pilot on the top of the mountain, they both get so scared that they abandon the sticks and run away. Both boys have the fear of the unknown. They are both afraid of the thing that they couldn¡¯t even tell.


The differences between the boys are far greater than their similarity. The most obvious difference would be their leadership. Jack is a better leader than Ralph in the novel. To be a good leader, one must have respect from his people. Jack has his respect. The boys in his tribe respect him. ¡°He¡¯s a proper chief, isn¡¯t he?¡± (p15). This sentence said by Roger shows his respect for Jack. Comment like this is never made concerning Ralph. Most boys don¡¯t respect Ralph at all. In the chapter five of the novel, when Ralph is talking in an assembly, other boys laugh at him, ¡°Laughter rose again¡± (80). Someone even shouts, ¡°Too many things¡± (81) while Ralph is talking. A great leader must have absolute power over his people. The power must extend to the point of fear. Without this kind of power, a leader can¡¯t truly control his people. The conversation between Robert and Roger illustrates this quality in Jack, ¡° ¡®He¡¯s going to beat Wilfred.¡¯ ¡®What for?¡¯ Robert shook his head doubtfully. ¡®I don¡¯t know, he didn¡¯t say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up¡± (p15). Everyone in the tribe is afraid of Jack. They all know that Jack can beat anyone he wants to, whenever he wants to. When Jack asks for people to go with him to steal the fire, Roger and Maurice answer immediately. All the boys are eager to please Jack. In contrary to Jack, Ralph doesn¡¯t have such great power over the boys. The boys don¡¯t fear Ralph at all. When Ralph gives the orders to the boys, no one listens. When Ralph tells Jack to keep the fire, Jack runs off hunting and when Ralph asks boys to build the shelters, only Simon helps him. Thus, from the examples from the novel, it is safe to say that Jack is a greater leader than Ralph.


The leadership is not the only difference between Jack and Ralph. They are also different in term of their representation of the human natures. Jack represents savage, violence and disorder. Jack is the leader of the painted savages. He and his tribe take everything he needs by using violence. They murder Simon, Piggy and also try to kill Ralph. Jack is also the first one among the boys who breaks the rules and orders. Jack says that ¡°We don¡¯t need the conch any more¡± (p10). He means rules are not needed any more. He believes that one¡¯s desires are most important and should be followed. Jack is the kind of person which Golding believed everyone would eventually become if left alone and live the way one naturally wanted. Ralph, on the other hand, represents orders and civilizations on the island. Ralph has a strong moral sensibility.


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While most of the other boys are playing and having fun at the beginning of the novel, Ralph is building the shelters and thinking of ways to maximize their chances of being rescued. As the book progresses and the boys start to forget the importance of the fire, it is Ralph who constantly reminds the rest of the boys that they need the fire in order to be rescued. Ralph wants the things to be organized. During the meeting in the chapter five,


Ralph admonishes the boys for not using the appropriate areas for the lavatory and sets the rule that they can only have fire on the mountain. Ralph wants to put everything in order. Eventually all the boys except Piggy join Jack¡¯s savage tribe, Ralph is the only boy who still reminds civilized. Overall, Jack represents the id of one¡¯s personality while Ralph represents the ego of the human personality.


Jack and Ralph are the main characters in the novel by which author uses to show us the true nature of human beings. They have both similarity and difference. They both have fear of unknown, but they are also different in term of leadership and representation of human nature.





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