In Lord of the Flies, how does Jack propose to rule without the conch? Why does Jack organize a feast?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of the Flies, William Golding reveals the effects that a lack of order and civil behavior can have on a group of school boys without the guidance of "grown ups." Despite Piggy's and Ralph's best efforts, they are no match for the self-absorbed and self-important Jack who, through manipulation and fear, convinces other boys to join him and have some "fun."

Initially, the reader sees Jack as the epitome of schoolboy correctness. His parents would be proud of their son who is "chapter chorister and head boy." Jack's ability to rally the choir boys and have them marching in an orderly manner, despite the confusion, and to respond to the call of the conch, reveal his leadership skills and, according to Piggy, Jack's "uniformed superiority." Jack's disappointment that it is not a ship which has come to rescue them and his disbelief when he is not voted as chief are appeased when Ralph suggests that Jack should lead his choir, which Jack immediately labels the "hunters." 

At first Jack agrees that there have to be rules because "we're not savages. We're English..." but as time goes by, Jack struggles to fit in with Ralph's leadership methods. He would much rather make demands, hunt and dismiss the "littluns," because there is "no beast in the forest." Piggy does point out that "If Jack was chief he'd have all hunting and no fire. We'd be here till we died."

Talk of the beast constantly divides the boys who do not know what to believe. When Ralph and Jack apparently see the beast, the dynamic of the group changes. Jack attempts to belittle Ralph and claims that Ralph should never have been voted as chief. This is an opportunity for Jack to separate himself from the group with some boys going after him and Jack establishes himself as chief of this small group of boys. He kills a pig and is excited to invite the other boys to a feast because they will see what Jack has achieved and what he can offer them.

Taking Ralph and Piggy by surprise, Jack charges towards them all, suggesting that he may let the other boys join his "tribe," where they "hunt and feast and have fun." His "mask of paint" makes him think he is almost invincible and he knows the boys will be tempted by talk of meat when everyone is so bored of fruit. He is right. The boys go and even Piggy suggests that he and Ralph go along. Jack's obvious command of the situation allows him to continue and he promises to protect the boys from the beast as well, even discounting the importance of the conch which "doesn't count at this end of the island..." When a storm threatens his party, Jack again regains control of the situation by encouraging the boys to "dance." In what Piggy and Ralph view as "this demented but partly secure society," there is safety in numbers if nothing else and disaster looms, especially for Simon whose tragic death is the result of Jack's uncontrolled, extreme and frenzied method of gaining control. 

iamkaori | Student

He proposes to rule by providing food and the promise of fun. He particularly asks:

Who wants to join my tribe and have fun?

By organising a feast, he also promises the people that they would not starve and will have plenty of food, also the presence of fun.

Hope this helped!

aishukul | Student

Jack shouts at Ralph saying he isn't the boss of him and Jack asks the boys whether they want him to be leader but nobody raises their hand. He runs off embarrassed, and tells the boys they can follow him to another place on the island to make camp, hunt, and have a good time. The following morning, most of the older boys have gone to Jack's side since most of the older boys were the choir boys who were led by Jack before they got stranded on the island. Also, Jack and the choir boys are hunters, and seeing how Jack appealed to them by saying they would have a good time, the older boys got attracted to go to Jack's side. Jack proposes to rule without a conch by appealing to the boys (that they'd have a fun time). When they were all on Ralph's tribe the conch was handed to the speaker and the conch was a symbol of civilization. Ralph wanted there to be rules and to keep the fire going so they would be rescued quickly. When Jack ran away and the older boys followed him, he didn't have the conch since his clan had no civilization (symbolism of conch), and they all danced, sang, hunted, and had a wild time just like animals. He ruled by appealing to the boys by having fun.

Jack organized a feast to show the boys that his clan is so much fun and better than Ralph's. It was the start of having a great time in his tribe. There was also a feast, so Jack could offer some food to the beast, since everyone was scared of the beast on the island, so they sacrificed some food to appease the beast and hoped he wouldn't come after them. 

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Lord of the Flies

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