Golding shows us that Ralph and jack are opposites right from the beginning when he describes their physical appearance. Jack is described as skinny and bony with red hair wearing black. It sounds as though Golding is describing the grim reaper who as we all know is associated with death and evil. And also Black and red are colours that are normally associated with evil or villainy whereas Ralph is described as tall for his age and handsome with fair hair and this sounds as though Golding is describing a hero for example someone like Hercules.
At the beginning Jack seems to be the one that society or civilisation has had the greatest effect on. He immediately assumes it was an adult that blew the conch and is first to suggest that they should figure out a way to get off the island. Ironically later on in the story hes the one that sabotages their chance of getting off of the island when he goes off hunting instead of watching the fire.
Ralph behaves childish when he first meets piggy. We see this when piggy tells him what they called him at school. He mocks him and is roaring with laughter with no consideration for piggys feelings just like any other child.
Although he behaves this way Ralph has natural leadership qualities that are recognised by the rest of the group when they vote him chief. He presides over the boys with a natural sense of authority and agrees to a vote for chief. This emphasises the relationship with Churchill and democracy whereas Jack begins to boast about how he ought to assume the role of chief automatically because hes chapter chorister and head boy. And he can sing a c sharp. When obviously none of those things are going to help them get off the island.
Ralph becomes chief by vote and this establishes a conflict between the different leadership qualities offered by jack and Ralph.
Jack demonstrates a military mindset, like Hitler; strict and authoritarian. He orders his choir about as if they were troops. He doesnt seem to even care when one of them falls flat on their face and simply says.
Hes always throwing a faint¦
Interestingly the role that Golding first chooses for the choir is as hunters. He chooses the task that is most associated with death and violence and, in this society, most related to military values.
Jack represents a traditional villainy, he exemplifies a physical manifestation of evil: with his dark cloak and wild red hair, he gives a slightly satanic impression. He is cruel and sadistic, preoccupied with hunting and killing pigs, but his sadism extends as the book progresses to include cruelty towards the other boys. Some may say that jack would be the best leader because he has the ability to make others obey him. Although this may be true jack seems to forget their main objective, which is to get off the island. He sabotages their best opportunity to be rescued, to fulfil his bloodlust, which he claims was a priority. He comes to represent anarchy and dictatorship as leader.
It may be argued that Ralphs only strengths are that he looks like a leader and he found the conch. Personally I disagree with this statement as it totally ignores the fact that Ralph is the one character who remains the most civilized throughout the entire novel, he unlike anyone else including piggy, is able to acknowledge that what they did to Simon was murder- The unlawful killing of another human being.
Although Ralph lacks Piggys overt intellect, he is calm and rational, with sound judgement and a strong moral sensibility. He is susceptible to the same instinctual influences that affect the other boys, for example Ralphs role in Simons death. But With his attention to justice and equality Ralph represents liberation and democracy as a leader.
So who is a better leader? I suppose ultimately this begs the question would you rather live in an anarchic society based on dictatorship and evil such as that of Jack and Hitler? Or in a democracy based upon peace such as that of Ralph and Churchill?