Compare and contrast between Ralph and Jack in Lord of the Flies.


William Golding (1911-1993) is a famous British novelist who composed the most celebrated novel Lord of the Flies (1954).  Ralph and Jack are two of the main characters in William Golding’s novel “Lord of the Flies.” They represent different leadership styles and worldviews. Some key points of comparison and contrast between Ralph and Jack is being portrayed,

1. Leadership style: 

Ralph is a democratic leader who values order and cooperation. He is elected as the leader of the group early in the novel and seeks to establish a system of rules and responsibilities. Jack, on the other hand, is an authoritarian leader who values power and dominance. He seeks to establish himself as the leader of a faction and imposes his will on others. Here his wish for leadership is found, 

“I ought to be chief…because I’m chapter chorister and head boy.”

More Notes: Lord of the Flies

2. Priorities: 

Ralph’s priority is to establish a signal fire that can attract the attention of passing ships and rescue them from the island. He believes that this is the most important task for their survival. Here we find him saying,

Any day there may be a ship out there… and if we have a signal going they’ll come and take us off.

Jack, on the other hand, is more focused on hunting and exerting his power over the other boys.

3. Relationship with the group: 

Ralph tries to create a sense of community and friendship among the boys. He values their opinions and seeks to involve everyone in decision-making. Jack, on the other hand, is more interested in building a loyal following and uses fear and intimidation to control the other boys.

4. Social Status

Ralph is a natural leader who is elected as the chief by the boys. He is popular among the boys and earns their respect through his fair and rational decision-making. Jack is a self-appointed leader who uses his physical strength and charisma to dominate the weaker boys. He is feared by many and respected by only a few.

5. Attitude towards civilization: 

Ralph sees civilization as a source of order and safety. He believes that the rules and norms of society are necessary for human beings to live together peacefully. Jack, on the other hand, is more hostile toward civilization. He is attracted to the freedom and power of the wild and sees the rules of society as limiting.

6. Relationship with the natural environment: 

Ralph sees the natural environment as a potential source of danger and discomfort. He seeks to protect the boys from the elements and build a shelter for them. In Chapter 10, Ralph expresses his grief after the boys kill Simon. He feels unsafe in nature and fears hunting tendency of Jack. He cries out by saying,

I’m frightened. Of us. I want to go home. Oh God, I want to go home.

 Jack, on the other hand, sees the natural environment as a source of power and freedom. He is drawn to the hunting and exploring opportunities that the island offers.

7. Conflict Resolution:

Ralph tries to resolve conflicts by discussing the issues and finding solutions that benefit everyone. He encourages the boys to express their opinions and ideas. Jack, on the other hand, resolves conflicts through violence and aggression. He uses his power and physical strength to intimidate the weaker boys and get his way.


Ralph and Jack represent two different approaches to leadership and survival. While Ralph seeks to establish order and cooperation, Jack is more interested in power and dominance. While Ralph values civilization and order, Jack is more drawn to the wild and natural environment. These differences ultimately lead to conflict and tragedy on the island.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

Articles: 230

Leave a Reply

error: Sorry !!