Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Power Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"I painted my face—I stole up. Now you eat—all of you—and I—" (4.191)
Jack yells this right after he throws a hunk of meat at Simon. (Gross.) And, you know? We love Ralph and all, but Jack isn't exactly wrong. He did get the meat, and it's a powerful sign of leadership. If this were a real island tribe, maybe Jack should be the leader. But it's not. It's a group of little boys whose priority really should be getting off the island—and that means the right man for the job is Ralph.
Jack's face swam near him.
"And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing—"
"I'm chief. I was chosen."
"Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don't make any sense—" (5.238-241)
In case you haven't gotten it by now, Golding spells it out for us: Jack represents an autocratic government, where power is taken; and Ralph represents democratic governments, where power is given.
Something deep in Ralph spoke for him.
"I'm chief. I'll go. Don't argue." (6.155)
Notice that Ralph isn't the one agreeing to go look for the beast; it's the chief inside of him. He's a good example of how power can actually make you better. If you know you have people depending on you, and if you take that responsibility seriously, then power can be a positive force.