In chapter 7 of Lord of the Flies, why does Jack sneer at Ralph and ask him about going to the mountain ?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his rising antagonism, Jack sneers at Ralph since there has been growing tension between them over the shifting of leadership between the two. After Ralph has inquired about where he found the pig run, Jack asks Ralph about going to the mountain because he wants to challenge and mock Ralph, who does not want to go then as it is growing dark. 

In Chapter Seven the boys go on the other side of the island, and Ralph is reminded of how lost they are; consequently, he dreams of his life before the war. He is shaken from his reverie by Roger shouting about finding pig droppings, and he enters the hunt, becoming proud that he hit the boar with his spear.

He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all.

Soon, though, he tries to reason with the others that they need to start a fire and they should get back because Piggy is alone with the littluns. Jack continues to lead the others around the area, and then mocks Ralph "in a queer, tight voice,"(sneering) by repeating what Ralph has said. In an effort to regain respect, Ralph asks Jack where the pig-run was found the last time Jack was there, suggesting that they follow it out; however, Jack replies that it was on the mountain, knowing that Ralph is worried about getting back. "Don't you want to go to the mountain?" Jack taunts him.

Ralph sighed, sensing the rising antagonism, understanding that this was how Jack felt as soon as he ceased to lead.

He answers Jack's question about going on the mountain, saying that the light is waning. "We'll be stumbling about." "I don't mind going," Jack counters. Ralph blushes with anger and despair, then he asks Jack "Why do you hate me?"

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Lord of the Flies

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