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Throughout the novel Ralph never ceases to stress the importance of the signal fire as a means of being rescued. In fact, he also makes the other boys forget about being rescued from the island, making the group suffer.Soon after he had been elected as chief, he focuses attention on the importance of having a signal fire and being rescued. Ralph on the other hand, keeps his mind focused on the most important issues – being rescued and building shelter – and does not let anything get in the way.Jack is not considerate of other people’s opinions. Ralph shows that he regards all the boys as equals by standing up for Piggy, the most vulnerable person on the island. When everyone is equal, the group benefits as a whole because people are not afraid of ridicule or persecution when they speak their minds.
As soon as Ralph is elected as chief, he concentrates all of his newly acquired authority to being rescued. They’re off bathing, or eating, or playing.’” (Golding 51). The fire – along with the chance of being rescued – becomes extinguished as a ship passes by the island. We needed everyone.’” (Golding 74-75) When Jack forms his new tribe, they are not concerned about being rescued, all they want to do is hunt.
He assembles a small group of boys to go on an “expedition” to see if they actually are on an island. This shows that the he stays focused while all the other boys become distracted from the task at hand of building the shelters. Jack returns, and receives a deserved earful from Ralph: “‘There was a ship. You said you’d keep the fire going and you let it out! The ability to stay focused on what matters is important for a leader because it is the only way for progress to be made that can benefit the entire group.
“If this isn’t an island we might be rescued straight away. three of us will go on an expedition and find out.” (Golding 20). Ralph’s focused mind on completing the shelters kept him working and prevented him from being distracted like all the other boys. Even after Jack had started his own tribe, stole the only means of making fire from Ralph, and Ralph’s tribe consisted only of a small number of boys, Ralph still did not forget the importance of the signal fire. If a leader kept on being side tracked with small, insignificant issues, then there would be no time to resolve the big, important issues that are really important and progress.
About one quarter way into the novel, Ralph becomes fed up as he finds only himself and one other boy building a shelter for the entire group. How everyone was going to work hard until the shelters were finished? “‘When the meeting was over they’d work for five minutes then wander off…’” (Golding 51). “‘If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. Jack becomes side tracked with his hunting and forgets the very important issue of being rescued from the island.
His focused mind makes decisions that benefit the entire group, which is why he is the better leader.
Being a great leader means being considerate of other peoples’ opinions. This shows that Jack regards Piggy as an inferior person.
As leader, he does not take into consideration the thoughts and opinions of his followers. “‘We’ll go into the forest now and hunt.’ He turned and trotted away and after a moment they followed him obediently.” (Golding 147). We’ll have to have ‘Hands up” like at school.’” (Golding 31). Jack believes that he is far superior than anybody else on the island. The “superior” people would benefit while the “inferior” would suffer.
Ralph is the exact opposite of Jack, since he is the one who put rules in place to allow every one to speak. When the group of boys is voting for chief at the start of the novel, Jack believes “with simple arrogance” (Golding 18) that there should be no vote and he should be appointed chief mainly because “‘I’m chapter chorister and head boy. Jack constantly ridiculed Piggy when they were in the same tribe and gave no thought to what Piggy said. This imbalance prevents the whole group from benefiting.
The catcher in the rye symbolizes that Holden is on an imaginary cliff, trying to keep the children from falling off.
The rye symbolizes childhood and innocence, but falling off would mean falling into the "phony" world of adult-hood.