How does Jack propose to rule without the conch in chapter 9 of Lord Of The Flies?

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andrewnightingale | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Jack proposes, paradoxically, to rule without rules. The conch has become a symbol of order and discipline and not having it means that the boys will have almost unfettered freedom. Jack becomes the archetypal rebel leader who, in his request for the other boys' support, tempts them by tapping into what they need.

Jack appeals to the most basic of the boys' needs in terms of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. He first appeals to the boys' need for food. Although there is more than enough vegetation and fruit on the island to satisfy this need, the diet becomes boring. The boys lust for meat and being part of Jack's tribe means that they will hunt and satisfy this hunger. Even Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric as well as Simon and the littluns all relish a feast and tuck in when meat becomes available.

A second basic need that Jack appeals to is the need for safety and security. He promises protection against the beast. Being part of Jack's tribe also means that the boys do not have to live in constant fear that he and his savages might harm them. They will enjoy the protection that he provides.

Golding also suggests deeper and more instinctual needs which will be satisfied by joining the tribe - the need for savagery, brutality and the lust for blood. Hunting and killing pigs is deemed 'fun' and the boys will be able to kill and maim in the excuse that they are getting food. It is the prospect of killing a living thing, though, that excites them the most. The hunt, in itself, is a thrilling prospect but the thought of killing and seeing blood is so much more exhilarating.  

Furthermore, joining Jack's tribe means that the boys would be removed from the boring task of obeying rules and doing work, something they will need to do, according to Ralph and Piggy. They most probably believe that the island affords them the pleasure to do as they wish without having to have the type of enforced discipline that they had been exposed to whilst at school. They are free of adult control and authority. Jack's offer is, therefore, almost impossible to resist.

Jack's fervent call is also seductive since it would give the boys a greater sense of belonging. They would be part of something that they may feel has greater and more immediate purpose than Ralph and Piggy's desire to be rescued. They will share a common purpose and be a tribe. This would fulfill a psychological need to have friends and be able to share intimate experiences which relate to hunting - something that Ralph and the others cannot offer.

The power of Jack's proposed system of rule becomes dreadfully apparent when a storm breaks out and thunder and lightning ensues. The boys become restless and confused. Ralph, critical of Jack's proposition, cynically asks about shelters and what type of protection Jack has to offer. In response, Jack taps into the boys' fears and their savage nature. He asks that they all do their hunting dance. As the storm reaches its climax, the boys are in a frenzy and murder Simon as he crawls out of the forest, believing him to be the beast.

The boys have lost all reason and have become truly savage, so much so that even Ralph and Piggy are intoxicated by the raw power of their frenzied cries and their barbarity, and join in. 

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jieun102 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

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  1. Jack offers meat to everyone who joins his tribe; while he bribes them with meat, he also offers the boys “fun”. ‘“I gave you food,” said Jack, “and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?” ‘Who’ll join my tribe and have fun?”’(Golding, pg.166). From these two dialogues, you can detect of Jack is bribing the boys with offerings of food, fun, and protection; he ultimately plans to rule by providing nourishment and fun.
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cathyfritos | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Jack proposes that him and his hunters will provide food to everyone in the tribe. Jack tries to persuade the boys to join his pride by bribing them with meat and telling them that his tribe is "fun". Jack asks the boys, "Who'll join my tribe and have fun?" (Golding 150).

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mailbox27 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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Jack says that he and his hunters will provide food for those who join him.  He also asks, "Who'll join my tribe and have fun?" So Jack plans to rule by providing or withdrawing noursihment and fun.

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