Leadership and the Civic Idea

By Maddie G, Sierra S, Hayley B, and Nick A

How do fear and desire for acceptance influence human behavior?

Lord of the Flies

A child's imagination can be malicious. In Lord of the Flies, a littlun imagines that he saw a deadly beast. He tells the group, making them all fearful of this beast. This fear of the beast has an indirect influence to the boys behavior. “I mean when Jack says you can be frightened because people are frightened anyway that’s all right. But when he says there’s only pigs on this island I expect he’s right but he doesn’t know, not really, not certainly I mean ---” Maurice took a breath (88). As the story progresses, the boys become paranoid, thinking everything is the beast. This savagery results in the death of Simon. They lose all connections to humanity in the end.

In History (before 2001)

Every since the colonization of America, slavery has been used to increase work labor. In earlier years, white men would capture slaves and beat them to show what would happen if they disobeyed. This fear made those slaves lose all sense of hope. Not only did this depression affect the slaves, the masters saw this as an opportunity to gain power. They felt superior to the slaves, even though they were all the same. As slavery continued in America white men saw slavery as representation of power. The more slaves you had, the wealthier you were. White men would continue to use slavery, just to be accepted in their social peers. Slavery corrupted the minds of white men and put black men into the deepest trenches of depression.

In History (after 2001)


As of June 26, 2015, 19 out of 194 countries allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide. Before this, same-ex couples had to live secretly because of their fear of how others would accept them. In Oregon, a baker was forced to pay $135,000 for revealing the address of a lesbian couple. This information lead to death threats against the couple and almost made them lose their foster children. In Rowan County, a couple was heckled by a man for being a same-sex couple. He shouted to them, “It’s your sin that brought you here. Your sin is going to be your demise,”. Same sex couples were harassed all throughout the country by people like these who wanted same-sex marriage abolished. People that did not wanted same-sex couples went to extreme acts because of their fear of society being ruined.

In Social Circles

When people want to be accepted by others, they try to fit in and conform to how others act. For example, teenagers are often pressured by their friends into things like drugs and smoking because they want to fit in with the crowd. According to a publication on peer pressure by Parent Further, only ten percent of teenagers surveyed said that they had not been influenced by peer pressure. In that same group, 28 percent of teenagers agreed that giving in to peer pressure improved their social standing. They are afraid they won’t be accepted by their peers and will be made fun of for being different, so they conform to the ways of others. The Canadian Lung Association also did a survey that found that 70 percent of teens who smoke have friends who smoke or started smoking because of peer pressure.

Do individuals control groups or do groups control individuals? Explain.

Individuals control groups

Lord of the Flies

At the start of the story the Ralph, Piggy, and Jack are introduced. When Jack comes we see him order his band of choir boys. "Choir, stand still!" (20). A few pages later the boys elect Ralph as the chief. As chief he controls the boys to do various tasks including building shelters and gather water. Lastly in near the end of the book Jack becomes leader and orders the tribe to hunt down Ralph and Piggy. In Lord of the Flies there is a clear connection to how individuals control groups.

In History (before 2001)


During the times of slavery, one white man was enough to make groups of slaves fearful and obey him, even though there were more slaves than there were owners, the individual was able to control these slaves through physical torture of beating and whipping. The slaves also knew that they would have a better life obeying to gain more privileges than to try to run away because they would most likely be caught and then punished. “. . . My master let us come and go pretty much as we pleased. In fact we had much more freedom dan de most of de slaves had in those days. He let us go to other places to work when we had nothing to do at home and we kept our money we earned, and spent it to suit ourselves. We had it so much better den other slaves dat our neighbors would not let their slaves associate with us, for fear we would put devilment in their heads, for we had too much freedom. . . .”. Sarah Ford who was a slave shows how the slaves allowed themselves to be controlled by an individual out of fear and knowing that this was the best their life could get without them trying to rebel against the individual.

In History (after 2001)


Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, leader of Isis, is a great example of an individual controlling a group. He is the mastermind behind Isis and he is the one who makes Isis believe that their god is the best and any others who don’t follow it should be killed. Through the news and other social medias, the public has found Isis as a terrorist group, killing thousands of muslims. They have conquered many territories including the cities of Al Baghdadi and Maktab Khalid. These actions are all commanded from the leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The latest attack, the attack on paris, was confirmed from Isis. This means that it was Abu Bakr al Baghdadi plan. Isis is one of many examples of how a leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, controls a group.

In Social Circles

Individuals almost always control groups in social circles because then there is more order. For example, In school, individual teachers control groups of students. Parents can control their children until the age of 18. With jobs, there is always a boss in charge of a group of employees. If there is an individual controlling a group, there will be less arguing and rebellion because that individual is an authority figure for them. People listen better to one powerful individual. School is a direct example of how individuals control groups. In classrooms teachers will direct students to do various tasks like reading, writing, or talking in a group. Many teachers will give directions through a repeated warm up or verbally. “Look at the board for your warm up today students,”. Mr. Allem, one of the Algebra II teachers at Pennridge High School, will say to his period nine students. At meetings teachers will become the students and will follow directions from a person of higher power like the superintendent. School among various other things is a great example of how individuals will control groups.