In Lord of the Flies, how does Jack react to Piggy's death? What does he do when he sees that Piggy is dead?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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By the time of Piggy's death in Lord of the Flies there is little hope that Ralph will be able to restore any sense of order. Simon is dead and Piggy and Ralph are holding on to the last threads of the civilization they created but are faced with "savages." Jack's tribe is viewing Piggy with amusement and does not stop to listen to him because of any respect for Piggy or the conch but because they want to humiliate him some more. Piggy is still trying to reach the boys on an intellectual level when he says,"Which is better - to have rules...or hunt and kill?" Ralph is also pleading to the boys' sense of right and wrong and the vain hope of rescue but it is too late and they are interrupted by Jack who stands in the safety of his tribe -"a solid mass of menace." Ralph is aware of the stones and Piggy is aware that the boys are acting irresponsibly but it no longer matters to Jack and his tribe.  

Jack is planning to attack Ralph and Piggy anyway and Roger is relishing his control over the lever and the threat he represents. As Roger knowingly lets the rock go, Piggy is struck by it and as the conch "exploded into a thousand white fragments" so Piggy's "arms and legs twitched a bit" and he lands far below. Piggy's body is washed away as if he is no more important than a pig "after it has been killed" and, except for Ralph's inability to speak there is no remorse for what has just happened but only Jack "screaming wildly." However, Jack's screams are not of panic but of triumph.

This incident reveals Jack's character as he feels that he is vindicated and that he is the legitimate chief. The only reference to Piggy is in the fact that Ralph has no one else and that because "there isn't a tribe for you any more" and the conch is destroyed, Jack can take his rightful place. He sees Ralph as his enemy and himself as the only authority. His reaction reveals that he thinks that he is invincible, even teasing the twins and forcing them to join his tribe. 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Jack screams at Ralph that he will get exactly what Piggy did. He sees the destruction of the conch along with Piggy as a sign that he's the real chief now. Jack feels no remorse, and Piggy's death signifies the loss of civilization for Jack and his group. Order is gone, and Ralph must now run for his life.


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