A critical part of being a leader in strategy and execution because a leader has to set a goal and then follow through in completing their goal. When the boys crash they are faced with an immediate concern of being rescued, and Ralph faces this problem head on and announces, If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain (Golding 30). Although it may seem simple enough the boy lose sight of their desire to be rescued and accept their savage lives on the island. Ralph persistently stresses the importance of the fire until he sounds like a broken record and even still, the boys cannot match his same urgency. In a conversation with Piggy he portrays his frustration, If someone threw you a rope when you were drowning. If a doctor said take this because if you dont take it youll die you would, wouldnt you? (Golding 139). Ralph compares drowning and dying to their life on the island and symbolizes the rope and the pill as the equivalent of the fire. In his comparison it seems undeniable that the fire is the only way to be rescued. This was the main goal ever since the beginning and Ralph further displays his ability to lead above all others because, throughout all the chaos and disturbances, he is the only one who remains fixed on the central mission of returning home. Jack could claim he is a more worthy leader since he provides meat and feasts from his skillful hunting. However, not long after the boys arrive on the island, a ship passes and Jack leaves to hunt, abandoning his duty of keeping the fire burning causing it to go out. Piggy and Ralph scold Jack on his lack of accountability exclaiming, You and your blood, Jack Merridew! You and your hunting! We might have gone home (Golding 70). Jack continues on to generate excuses and eventually apologize, all the same, this mistake is inexcusable. The boys could have been rescued right then and there and avoided the deaths and trauma later to come. Jacks lack of responsibility and desire to go home is detrimental to his argument as chief. Ralph, on the other hand, understands the fire is the most important thing and follows through on ensuring it is done.
Ralph is assertive, which is key in leadership because a chief must be strong to set limits and stand firm in holding them. At the time when the fire goes out, Ralph demands the boys to build a new fire and then stands assertively atop the mountain so, No one, not even Jack, would ask him to move and in the end they had to build the fire three yards away and in a place not really as convenient (Golding 73). Ralphs decision to stand on the mound of ashes and refuse to move is symbolic because he made it clear to everyone he was in authority, including Jack who became powerless to him. Ralph is the symbol of strength and dominance and is the right leader for the boys on the island. Piggy, could present a valid argument that he has a higher intellect, therefore would make a better leader. As Ralph contemplates multiple pressing issues pertaining to being chief of the island, he is forced to stretch his mind beyond any way he has had to think before, he had to adjust his values, Piggy could think. He could go step by step inside that fat head of his, only Piggy was no chief (Golding 103). No matter how intelligent Piggy is, he will always be an outsider because of his fat, his asthma, and his cowardice personality. Piggy, despite his brains, does not have the assertiveness, charisma, or respect of others like Ralph, to be chief.
Ralph should be the leader on the island because the boys chose him, which gives him authority because a leader is made up of followers and they chose to follow him. The boys vote on a chief and when Ralphs name is brought up, Every hand outside of the choir except Piggys was raised immediately. Then Piggy, too, raised his hand grudgingly into the air, then the votes were counted and he was declared chief and, The circle of boys broke into applause (Golding 22-23). The boys voting for him as chief is a critical part of him being a leader because the boys chose him. He gained their votes and, as a result, they are more likely to take him seriously as a leader, respect him, and listen to his orders. Jack may argue that Ralph does not have the same qualifications and experience as him to be chief because he has prior experience being the leader of the choir. However, Jacks self-importance and leadership quality is more of a negative attribute than a positive one, I ought to be chief, said Jack with simple arrogance, because Im chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp (Golding 22). As the leader of the choir, Jack is used to being obeyed in an oppressive, tyrannic way. Even the choir, voted for Jack out of dreary obedience. This made it all the more important that Ralph was chosen in a Democratic process, because it was revealed that Ralphs stillness, was a more likable quality then Jacks self-righteousness.
A chief must be able to attain the starting mission, have strength and boldness, and be chosen by their followers. Ralph, through all the challenges facing him, maintains these qualities and is, therefore, the fitting leader of the boys. Without humans, it is a matter of time before the earth returns to its original form. Similarly without law and order, it is a matter of time before humans turn back to their primitive instincts. Thus emphasizing how easily human nature is tempted and the way one must strive to continue doing right.