Lord Of the Flies

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In the novel, Lord of The Flies by William Golding, the boys take a turn for the worse, transforming from innocent boys into determined savages . There are many things that cause this, but the main problem is Jack Merridew.

Jack does not care, the least bit about the other boys, he believes that he is better than everyone amongst him, and loves the idea of violence and bloodshed. Later on in the novel, Jack leaves and develops his own tribe, leaving Ralph and Piggy to converse about what they think is causing the lack of order and stress on the island. Piggy starts: "I dunno, Ralph. I expect it's him. "Jack?" "Jack." A taboo was evolving round that word too. Ralph nodded solemnly. "Yes, I suppose it must be"( Golding, pg.140). This conversation between Piggy and Ralph shows that both of them blame Jack for causing all of the ruckus and chaos on the island. Another thing that shows how uncivilized Jack has become is how his tribe reacts when they realize that without Piggy's glasses, they have no way of starting a fire to cook with. When asked what he is going to do about it, Jack answers, "We'll raid them and take fire" (136). Jack wants to do the inhumane, and savage thing, that is to steal the fire, opposed to the civilized method of asking. What Golding is doing in this part of the novel, is showing us that Jack has blood lust, but is no longer at ease with just killing an innocent pig. You can see this toward end of the book, when the twins, Sam and Eric are speaking with Ralph. They tell him, "They're going to hunt you tomorrow"(188). This quote shows how savage Jack's tribe has came to be, and that they have stepped up from hunting pigs, to humans. Jack has taken his savagery to an entirely new level by doing this.

Another catastrophic event that leads the boys into savagery is their fear, Jack uses the boys fear to lure them into his gang of hunters. "He's a coward himself." For a moment he paused and then went on. "On top, when Roger and me went on - he stayed back"(126). This quote shows how Jack uses intimidation on Ralph to make him look weak, frightened, and scared. This will also make the boys believe and rely on Jack, because he is appearing in their eyes as a good leader, that they can trust. He is also the only person to criticize Ralph's leadership when there is only one tribe, and which eventually causes the boys to split into two groups. In the book, there are two main things that represent order, the conch and Piggy. Jack hates both of them. When Ralph and Jack are having an argument on Jack's side of the island and Ralph brings up the conch, and Jack responds, "The conch doesn't count at this end of the island-"(150). Golding is showing us that by saying that the conch doesn't count, Jack is stating that order doesn't count at this end of his island either. Piggy is to represent order on the island as well, which could be the reason Jack despises him so much. Piggy is the one who encourages Ralph to stick up to Jack whenever Ralph feels like just plainly giving up. "The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy was gone. This time the silence was complete. Ralph's lips formed a word but no sound came out. Suddenly Jack bounded out from the tribe and begun screaming wildly. "See? See? ... The conch is gone-"(181). After both signs of order are gone, Ralph feels completely helpless and there is nothing to stand in the way of Jack's power. When Jack says, "The conch is gone,"he is implying that order is gone. This is the most important moment that leads to the boys transformation into savages , especially because the conch is destroyed in synchronization with Piggy’s death.

When the twins speak with Ralph, telling him that he is going to be hunted, they also tell him that Jack had Roger sharpen a stick at both ends. Golding is referring to earlier in the book, when the double sided stick was used for both, sticking in the ground and through the pigs head. He stood back and the head hung there, a little blood dribbling down the stick"(136-137). This foreshadows what Jack wants to do with Ralph, he wants to put Ralph's head on display as a reminder of what happens when you turn against him. Jack does a lot to destroy the order on the island.

Without Jack on the island, all of the boys would have stayed together as single group and worked together to survive and establish a legitimate society until they had been rescued. Golding makes the character, Jack, out to be the main problem, and revolves the plot around the events Jack creates.





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