Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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How does jack propose to rule without the conch in Lord of the Flies?

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Jack rejects the conch's authority and proposes that it does not count on the other side of the island. While Ralph attempts to establish a civil society with rules and structure, Jack completely rejects civility and champions savagery. Jack would rather hunt, play in the pool, and hurt others than...

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Jack rejects the conch's authority and proposes that it does not count on the other side of the island. While Ralph attempts to establish a civil society with rules and structure, Jack completely rejects civility and champions savagery. Jack would rather hunt, play in the pool, and hurt others than complete necessary tasks to ensure survival and increase their chances of being rescued. Jack proposes to rule without the conch by threatening, harming, and manipulating his followers. Jack publicly tortures those who disagree with him, propagates the belief in the beast, and manipulates his followers into believing that only he can protect them. Jack also presents himself as a fearless, talented hunter who can provide for his group of boys. In addition to Jack's manipulative actions, he also undermines Ralph's authority by calling him a coward and mentioning his close friendship with Piggy. Overall, Jack rules his tribe of savages like a tyrant and has no need for the conch. Unlike Ralph, Jack focuses on the boys' primitive desires and rejects the idea of civility, which is what the conch symbolizes.

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After Jack childishly splits from the original tribe of boys claiming, "I'm not going to play any longer! Not with you!" to Ralph and the others, he redefines his role as leader through his ability to hunt and provide meat.  No where is this more evident than the later scene when Jack organizes a feast on the far end of the beach.  Ralph actually threatens to use the conch and call a meeting, but Jack rejects the power of the conch by informing Ralph that the "conch doesn't count on this end of the island" (150). 

Jack plans to rule without the conch, and in order for this notion to be accepted by the other boys, he must completely reject and undermine the conch's significance and purpose.  Jack's rejection of the conch undermines Ralph's authority; the reader can infer Jack's hidden meaning, which is, of course, that he feels that the conch should not count on the other side of the island either.  Jack's denial of the conch's significance and purpose showcases yet another way in which Jack has turned his back on another of the more civilized ideals remaining on the island.

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