Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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How is Jack envious of Ralph in "Lord of the Flies"? use examples and specific quotes to show proof

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Jack is envious when Ralph is chosen chief. Jack has already stated "I ought to be chief," so when he is passed over for Ralph, Jack's face shows a "blush of mortification." At the evening meeting after Jack's group has let the signal fire go out, Jack envies Ralph's leadership. Violating the rules because he's not holding the conch, Jack shouts at Ralph,

And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there, telling people what to do. . . . Why should choosing [you as chief] make any difference? Just giving orders that don't make sense.

This rant reveals how much he envies Ralph's authority. When a group of boys goes off in search of the beast, Ralph allows Jack to lead part of the way. The tables are turned, and Ralph finds himself experiencing Jack's emotion of envy: "Ralph sighed, sensing the rising antagonism, understanding that this was how Jack felt as soon as he ceased to lead." Shortly after, Ralph takes the lead again, and "Jack brought up the rear, displaced and brooding."


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luannw eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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adny14310 | Student

Ralph is chief and in charge of the boys on the island.He was elected leader by the boys, however Jack felt he should have been leader because he was head chorister.Initially, the boys are more supportive of Ralph because his main objectives are to keep them safe and get them rescued. The boys respect his leadership qualities because he actually listens to them.Jack wants the power Ralph possesses, especially his power of the conch.The conch is a symbol of authority and Jack is envious of Ralph's use of it amongst the group.