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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

"I painted my face—I stole up. Now you eat—all of you—and I—" (4.191)

Jack yells this right after he throws a hunk of meat at Simon. (Gross.) And, you know? We love Ralph and all, but Jack isn't exactly wrong. He did get the meat, and it's a powerful sign of leadership. If this were a real island tribe, maybe Jack should be the leader. But it's not. It's a group of little boys whose priority really should be getting off the island—and that means the right man for the job is Ralph.

Quote #8

Jack's face swam near him.

"And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing—"

"I'm chief. I was chosen."

"Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don't make any sense—" (5.238-241)

In case you haven't gotten it by now, Golding spells it out for us: Jack represents an autocratic government, where power is taken; and Ralph represents democratic governments, where power is given.

Quote #9

Something deep in Ralph spoke for him.

"I'm chief. I'll go. Don't argue." (6.155)

Notice that Ralph isn't the one agreeing to go look for the beast; it's the chief inside of him. He's a good example of how power can actually make you better. If you know you have people depending on you, and if you take that responsibility seriously, then power can be a positive force.

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