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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies


by William Golding

Lord of the Flies Ralph Quotes


Quote 10

The booing rose and died again as Piggy lifted the white, magic shell.

“Which is better –to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?”

A great clamor rose among the savages. Piggy shouted again.

“Which is better –to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

Again the clamor and again – “Zup!”

Ralph shouted against the noise.

“Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”

Now Jack was yelling too and Ralph could no longer make himself heard. Jack had backed right against the tribe and they were a solid mass of menace that bristled with spears. (11.200-207)

The description of the shell as “white, magic” seems to be the way Piggy sees it. The passage that follows proves that the shell is in fact no such thing; it can’t even get the boys to quiet down and listen.


Quote 11

"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." (1.229-231)

Sure, bet that C sharp really comes in handy when you're trying to keep a group in order. Jack thinks he should have the power because he's always had it. There's nothing special about him; he doesn't have any particular talent for leading. He's just arrogant. And sometimes that's enough.


Quote 12

The suffusion drained away from Jack's face. Ralph waved again for silence.

"Jack's in charge of the choir. They can be—what do you want them be?"


Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking. The rest began to talk eagerly. (1.254-257)

Check out how Ralph gets Jack on his side by sharing power. He's set up to be a good leader, taking into account the needs and desires of his group. Too bad it's not going to last.