Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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How is Jack symbolized as a dictator in Lord of the Flies?

Jack is symbolized as a dictator in Lord of the Flies by his desire to attain absolute authority and his ruthless, cruel leadership style. Similar to a dictator, Jack completely undermines the democratic process, assumes complete authority, sanctions violence, and uses fear and manipulation to control his subjects. Jack also develops a cult of personality and uses various propaganda techniques to mislead his followers into obediently supporting his irrational decisions.

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Dictators possess absolute authority and resort to violence and manipulation to intimidate and control their subjects. Dictators are often characterized as selfish, hostile individuals, who are ruthless and bold. Jack embodies these characteristics throughout the story and is portrayed as a cruel, power-hungry adolescent. Similar to a dictator, Jack challenges the democratic process by suggesting that he should be chief simply because he is in charge of the choir and can sing in C-sharp. Jack desires to assume absolute authority and begins to view Ralph as his primary enemy because he is in a position of power. After Ralph places Jack in charge of the hunters, Jack begins to create a cult of personality and assumes the identity of a fierce protector, benevolent provider of meat, and an expert hunter. Similar to most dictators, Jack exaggerates his accomplishments and attempts to portray himself as a dominant, capable leader.

Once Jack breaks from Ralph's group and establishes his own tribe...

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