Lord Of The Flies:Jack+Ralph Essay, Research Paper
In the “Lord of the Flies”, Jack and Ralph struggle for power on the island. One supports savagery and dictatorship, and the other struggles to keep civilization and democracy. Ralph and his foil, Jack engage in arguments and competition for power, which makes up the main conflict of this novel. “There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of belonging and baffled common sense.”(P.77)
Because the boys came from a civilized world, Ralph naturally was voted leader when they first reached the deserted island. Ralph had the most power at the beginning of the story. However, as the story progresses, readers see how Jack gradually gains over Ralph. The conflict between them first starts to become intense with the sighting of the ship. The fire, creating smoke for people from the outside world to see, was the only hope of rescue. Yet Jack had let the fire die out. Ralph was furious at Jack. Ships rarely pass by the island, and Jack had destroyed the boys’ chance of being rescued. He seemed to forget what was most important to them: to get rescued, and return home. All Jack cared about was hunting. Ralph, however, still remembers the importance of the fire at this point. He tries his best to keep the boys civilized, but the evil in the savagery that Jack lead was too tempting. Eventually Ralph fails to maintain civilization on the island.
Unlike Ralph, Piggy clearly understood the situation of the power struggle. Piggy predicted that “we’ll [the boys will] soon be animals anyway.” (p. 101) Piggy knew that Ralph was the only person who could attempt to control Jack. “He [Jack] can’t hurt you [Ralph]: but if you stand out of the way he’d hurt the next thing. And that’s me [Piggy].”(p. 102) Piggy clearly recognizes the need for civilization on the island. As Ralph s right-hand-man, he warns Ralph of the danger Jack could cause.
The boy’s exploration of Castle Rock showed the boys’ instinct to obey Jack. Ralph had volunteered to search alone. Once the boys discovered that the beast did not live at Castle Rock, everyone followed Jack and became obsessed with building a fort. They [the boys] forgot the beast in the excitement of exploration. (p. 117) Fortunately, Ralph reminded them of the duties they still have to finish. The boys reluctantly obeyed Ralph and went back to the mountain.
The fear in the boys hearts made them assume anything queer on the island was related to the beast. Except for Simon, virtually every boy dreaded the beast .