Why is Ralph so angry with Jack after spotting the ship, and what is Jack's excuse?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 6 of "Lord of the Flies,"Ralph, the voice of civilization is angered that the fire has gone out while the boys run around the island looking for the "beast."  He turns to the assembly of boys and asks them, "Don't you all want to be rescued?" With the support turning to his side, Ralph then asks Jack if there is anywhere on the island that he has not been.  Jack answers "unwillingly" as he is disgruntled that Ralph has regained his leadership. For, earlier Jack had dominated Pippy by "contemptuously" accusing Piggy of always being scared. Also, he contended that the conch was not needed anymore, and "it's time some people knew they've got to keep quiet and leave deciding things to the rest of us...This is a hunter's job."

At this point Jack strives to usurp Ralph and Piggy's power as the civilized and intelligent leaders of the group.  He talks of rocks and rocks making good bridges.  The rock, a symbol of the Stone Age, suggests the rising savagery in Jack and the hunters, especially the innately sadistic Roger.  Here Golding writes that

Simon thought of the beast; there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick.

In the lagoon, the "sleeping leviathan breathed out...and the water boiled over the table rock with a roar."  This passage foreshadows the rise of the strong savage nature in the boys--"[the]long fall and rise and fall [of the waves]"--and their vicious acts of destroying Simon and Piggy,just as the "leviathan," Moby Dick, Melville's evil force, drowned Ahab--he,too, once heroic and sick--in the long fall and rise of the ocean waves.

codygoyack12 | Student

Well... jack leaves the fire, which he is suppose to be maintaining.  Due to his lack of responsibility, the ship doesnt notice that anyone is there.  That's why Ralph is so angry with Jack.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question