In "Lord of the Flies," how does Jack view the hunters? How does Ralph view them?

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Ralph and Jack see the opposition drawn out in the novel between hunting, the pig-killing and savagery on the one hand, and civilisation, rules, law and order and the signal fire on the other.

Jack views the hunters as exciting and dynamic, and Ralph views them - to begin with, at least - as something of a distraction from the main priority: to keep the signal fire going. Perhaps the key exchange comes in Chapter 6, when discussing the beast. Jack challenges the whole concept of the conch, shouting

It's time some people knew they've got to keep quiet and leave deciding things to the rest of us-' Ralph could no longer ignore his speech. The blood was hot in his cheeks. 'You haven't got the conch,' he said. 'Sit down.' Jack's face went so white that the freckles showed as clear, brown flecks. He licked his lips and remained standing. 'This is a hunter's job.'

Hunting and the conch become juxtaposed. One thing to note, however, is as much as Ralph (as Chief) disapproves of the hunting as a distraction, he is still drawn to the thrill of the chase, and more than prepared to eat the meat (look at, for example, the section in which him and Piggy eat at the fort with Jack and his tribe).

Ralph though he pretends otherwise, is as subsceptible as the others to the thrill of the kill: even for him "the desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering". Is it in the resistance of such urges, perhaps, that civilisation can flourish?

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Lord of the Flies

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