Democratic power is represented by Ralph as he struggles to maintain some semblance of society on the island and attempts to provide for the welfare of all. Authoritarian power is shown through Jack, who is concerned primarily with himself and seizes power as a means of controlling others to do his bidding. Spiritual power is exercised by Simon who concerns himself with providing for the youngest and weakest members of the group and brute power, representing a complete absence of society, is finally reverted to when Jack and his tribe attempt to burn Ralph off of the island. By examining these characters and their approach and reaction to power, we can begin to understand the point Golding was attempting to make regarding the power struggles that were occurring in his own time.
When the boys crash land on the island, they carry with them the social structures of their culture as they understand them, both from the school and from their home environments. “One could say that at that moment in time they were still highly civilized – they were all well socialized – and reasonably certain about who they were and what they were about – and acquainted with the rules of their civilization at home” (Teacher, 2002). Elected leader almost as soon as the boys arrive on the island, Ralph becomes the symbol for order and democracy. It is through Ralph’s efforts that they begin building the shelter they’re going to need and it is Ralph that begins trying to work out ways of calling for help.