What is an example of Jack's abuse of power, and what words are used to emphasize the hunters' sociological status in Lord of the Flies?

2 Answers | Add Yours

teachertaylor's profile pic

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

Posted on

In Chapter 10 of Lord of the Flies, Jack has taken all but three of the biguns and Ralph into his group of hunters.  Jack has total control over the boys, and abuses this power by beating the boys for infractions.  In this chapter, Jack has had Wilfred hog-tied, awaiting his beating.  Robert tells Roger that Wilfred has been tied up all day.  The boys do not question Jack's decision, and Jack uses the boys' fear against them.  By this time, the boys are simply referred to as savages and Jack as the chief by the narrator:  "A savage raised his hand and the chief turned a bleak, painted face toward him."  These words suggest that the boys have lost their identities and that they are now identified by the hierarchical roles that they play in the hunting group.

rmhope's profile pic

rmhope | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

In chapter 10, Jack has set himself up as chief over his own tribe, which consists of all the biguns except Ralph, Samneric, and Piggy. Jack abuses his new-found power by using violence against members of his own tribe and against Ralph's group, using fear and deception to keep control of the boys, and stealing the property of others. Because Jack was angry at Wilfred for an unspecified offense, he tied the boy up and kept him tied for hours, then beat him. When Jack determines they need a way to start their own fires, he plans a midnight raid on Ralph's camp. During that raid, Jack, Roger, and Maurice use violence--"hitting, biting, scratching." Jack deliberately and deceitfully instills fear in his own boys as a way of binding them to the group and to him. He tells them that Ralph's group will "try to spoil things we do," which is a lie. He then warns them of how "the beast might try to come in," reminding them of their struggle against the "beast" (really Simon) at the beach. When one of the other boys questions whether they killed the beast, Jack lies and says no, then says they must leave pigs' heads for it to "keep on the right side of him." This is all deception on Jack's part, designed to make the boys afraid and to bind them together against common enemies. Finally, in a horrendous abuse of power, Jack steals Piggy's glasses, a crime that violates not only Piggy's property rights but also his human rights, since without the glasses his life is severely impaired. 

Words that show the sociological status of Jack's group are "tribe," "Chief," "defenders of the gate" or "watchers at the gate," "hunters," and "others." Jack makes sure the others address him as "Chief," showing his superior authority. Members of his tribe are identified by their function, and those outside the tribe are called simple "the others." However, Golding refers to all the boys of Jack's tribe simply as "savages." 


We’ve answered 317,584 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question