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

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack displays several personality traits that connect his role as a leader, to that of a dictator throughout the novel Lord of the Flies. Historically, dictators are selfish individuals who rule via fear and violence. During the first assembly meeting, Jack suggests that he should be the leader of the group because he is the head boy and lead in the choir. Similar to the character of a dictator, Jack assumes that he is the most capable leader. Dictators are typically inconsiderate of others. Jack shares this character trait by constantly bullying Piggy, and suggesting that they use a littlun to simulate attacking a real pig. Throughout history, dictators have made outrageous claims in hopes to persuade the masses. Similarly, Jack makes the false claim that Ralph is a coward and attempts to usurp power. Dictators have a tendency to use fear to manipulate their followers to act in their best interests. For instance, Saddam Hussien used "fear of the Western world" to influence his troops to resist American forces. Jack uses the "fear of the beast" to coerce his followers in looking to him for protection and influence. Dictators also use fear and violence to maintain control over the population. Jack threatens Samneric to join his tribe, and they obey him because they fear the repercussions. Much like dictators, Jack likes to take chances and engages in risky behavior. Hitler risked starting World War II by invading Poland. Jack risks open conflict with Ralph and his followers when he steals Piggy's glasses. Jack eventually gains control over the majority of the boys on the island, but as we see from a later scene, his power will soon be challenged by another ruthless character, Roger. Likewise, many dictators lost their authority during coups within their party.

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Lord of the Flies

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