Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Ralph Quotes
"Shut up," said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. "Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things."
"A chief! A chief!"
"I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp." (1.228-30)
It's dumb of Jack to think he should be leader because he can sing C sharp, but is it any dumber that Ralph gets elected because he's cute and has the conch? Maybe Golding is saying that all rules and order are kind of made up—but that doesn't mean they're not important.
"All this I meant to say. Now I've said it. You voted me for chief. Now you do what I say."
They quieted, slowly, and at last were seated again. Ralph dropped down and spoke in his ordinary voice. (5.58-59)
All Ralph has to do is remind the boys that they decided to obey a certain set of rules, and they chill out. For now. It's scary to think about, but that's pretty much the only thing keeping our government in place, too: a (vast) majority of people think it should be there.
"I'm chief. We've got to make certain [that there is no beast]. Can't you see the mountain? There's no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?" (6.238)
Poor Ralph. He's learning that just saying "I'm chief" isn't enough; you have to have people to enforce your system of laws and order—like a police force, or Roger.