Lord of the Flies
How we cite our quotes:
"A fire! Make a fire!"
At once half the boys were on their feet. Jack clamored among them, the conch forgotten.
"Come on! Follow me!"
The space under the palm trees was full of noise and movement. Ralph was on his feet too, shouting for quiet, but no one heard him. All at once the crowd swayed toward the island and was gone—following Jack. (2.120-123)
Oops. Ralph's moment at the top of the food chain was pretty brief. It's only chapter two, and Jack's populist tactics are already more undermining the rule of law.
Henry was a bit of a leader this afternoon, because the other two were Percival and Johnny, the smallest boys on the island […].
Roger and Maurice came out of the forest […]. Roger led the way straight through the [sand] castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction. (4.7-8)
Roger is a schoolyard bully whose power comes from brute force. In the movies, the smart scrappy kids always end up beating the bully in the end. But does that happen in real life? Without rules to keep him in check, he's going to rise to the top. Although, note that he never makes it all the way to the top—he seems to be second in command. If the naval officer hadn't shown up, would he have eventually overthrown Jack?
Ralph pushed Piggy to one side.
"I was chief, and you were going to do what I said." (4.132-133)
Uh oh. This is basically the equivalent of Ralph saying, "But it's not fair." If you have a sibling, you know how well that works. (Not at all.)