Golding presents the beginning of the boys' relationship as one of mutual admiration. Jack and Ralph both feel kinship for each other from the very beginning when they explored the island together to the time when they helped each other build the first fire on the mountain:
At the return Ralph found himself alone on a limb with Jack and they grinned at each other, sharing this burden [...]
"Almost too heavy."
Jack grinned back.
"Not for the two of us." (39).
Golding bases the boys' easy comradeship on their shared experience of being the older boys on the island. They both feel carefree and giddy at the thought of being free of adults on the island and are united in their common goal of adventure. Only later, as a sense of competition creeps in and life on the island proves more difficult does the boys' relationship become more strained.