Identify and analyze an external conflict in the novel lord of the flies  

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One external conflict in Lord of the Flies is man versus man.  This conflict becomes one of the main driving forces of the novel as Jack struggles against Ralph for control of the boys on the island.  From the very beginning of the novel, Jack wanted to be chief, feeling that as 'head chorister,' he had the most experience to lead the tribe.  He was probably right, but the boys chose Ralph because of the air of authority that the conch gave him. From that moment forward, Jack worked against Ralph to undermine his authority and win over the boys' favor. 

As the novel progresses, Jack's attempts to claim control become more and more overt, until he finally abandons the original tribe and creates his own band of hunters at Castle Rock.  At this point in the novel, the man versus man conflict becomes less psychological and manipulative and more violent and physical.  After Piggy's death, Jack orders a manhunt to hunt down and kill Ralph and probably would have succeeded if not for the timely arrival of the naval officer.

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