How can I formulate three topic questions aimed at analyzing the leadership in Lord of The Flies, with particular attention to Jack?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Topic questions are those that open various avenues of analysis and discussion.

Perhaps, in the process of generating topic questions, the student may wish to consider aspects of the characters around whom the questions will revolve. Take, for instance, Ralph and Jack. Even if Jack is to be the primary focus, the student can gain better insight into his character by contrasting him with Ralph, for instance.
Questions in this area of discussion could be something like these:

  • How does Jack effectively demonstrate his leadership over others?
  • What tactics does Jack use to motivate the hunters (i.e. to what does he appeal)? Are others involved in effecting this motivation?
  • How does Jack differ from Ralph in his leadership role?

(Jack's leadership involves some intimidation because the boys fear him. This condition is evident in the beginning of the narrative when the choir all march into camp behind Jack after Ralph has blown the conch. Later, when votes are cast for who will be leader, the choir boys are intimidated enough that they all vote for Jack.) 

Further in the narrative, however, the enthusiasm for Jack's leadership wanes. Here are some discussion questions on this topic of waning enthusiasm and changes in the boys:

  • How does Jack maintain his position as leader of the hunters despite the desocialization of the boys?
  • At what point does Jack resort to more force and coercion in his leadership?  Is this really leadership or is his power waning? If so, in what ways?
  • What factors interfere with the effectiveness of Jack's role as a leader? (Consider the masks, Jack's changing behavior as in Chapter 3 when he drinks from a coconut shell-- 
    ...the water splashed over his chin and neck and chest. He breathed noisily when he had finished-- 
    also, Jack's increasingly cruel actions, his changing perspective, etc.)


[The links below will serve you well, and they may generate more ideas for questions.]


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Lord of the Flies

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