Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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In Lord of the Flies, what reason does Ralph give for the boys' defection to Jack? What kind of leader is Jack?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ralph explains the boys defection to Jack as follows: "They're having fun."

He pits this "fun" against the responsible needs of their community, which means tending to the fire:

The fire's the most important thing. Without the fire we can't be rescued. I'd like to put on war-paint and be a savage. But we must keep the fire burning. The fire's the most important thing on the island.

Ralph, however, loses out to the primitive release of repressed desires that Jack represents. The younger boys want to have fun through the indulgence in war paint and savage antics that Jack offers. He gives the boys...

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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jieun102 | Student
  1. In chapter 9, Ralph said: ‘”And for hunting,” said Ralph, wisely, “and for pretending to be a tribe, and putting on war-paint.”’ (Golding, pg.163). Jack lures the boys in to his control by offering them meat from his hunts, and excitement. Jack is a manipulative leader who can insert fear in the boys; while the boys are scared and overwhelmed by emotional instincts, Jack takes the opportunity to persuade the boys. He also uses effective traps by not telling the boys that he will not completely control them. Ralph, at this point, realizes the need for order and organization; he knows that they can no longer act like children. Although he wants civilization and order in the boys, he has difficulty communicating to the boys.  Jack, on the other hand, can foresee the boys’ fears and instincts, therefore being able to control and brainwash them.
wwjd | Student

Jack is a manipulative leader. He plays on the fear of the other boys. He has very good knowledge of how to persuade others, using their emotions and instincts.

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