In chapter two of Lord of the Flies - how does Jack treat Piggy, and what effect does it have?  I would like quotations from the chapter.

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack does not respect Piggy, and he shows it through his words and actions.  In chapter two, when the boys decide to light a fire to attract ships with the smoke, they have no way of lighting the fire. Jack grabs Piggy's glasses off his face, leaving Piggy panicked and with blurred sight, to start the fire.  Piggy thinks the fire is a bad idea.  He says,

".......We couldn't keep a fire like that going, not if we tried." (pg 42)

Jack gets angy and responds,

"A fat lot you tried......You just sat..." (pg 42)

This gets a defensive reaction from Piggy.  He gets angry and demands that they show him the respect they show everyone when they have the conch.  But Jack tells him bluntly,

"The conch doesn't count on top of the you shut up." (pg 42)

Piggy again insists that they listen to him because he has the conch.  Jack again tells him to shut up.  At this point in time, the author tells us,

"Piggy wilted." (pg 42)

Ralph then announces that they need a group a people to take care of the fire, and from now on wherever the conch is, that is where the meeting is --- whether on top of the mountain or on the bottom.  Everyone agrees.  But Piggy is still intimidated by Jack.

"Piggy opened his mouth to say something, caught Jack's eye and shut it again. " (pg42)

The boys plan how they are going to monitor the fire and watch for ships.  Suddenly Piggy gets very angry.

"You said you wanted a small fire and you been and built a pile like a hayrick.  If I say anything," cried Piggy with bitter realism, "you say shut up; but if Jack or Maurice or Simon ---" (pg 43)

The fire goes out of control, and Piggy is the first to notice.  He says,

"There ain't nothing we can do.  We ought to be more careful.  I'm scared....." (pg 45)

Jack yells back at him.

"You're always scared.  Yah ---- Fatty!" (pg 45)

Again intimidated by Jack, Piggy turns to Ralph for reassurance that he has the conch and has the right to speak. Piggy then tells them that they should build shelters, that they should listen to what Ralph tells them and not go running off, and that they don't even know how many little kids they have on the island so they can keep track of them.

Jack again responds with "Shut up" (pg 46)

Piggy doesn't react to Jack's comment because at that moment they realize that the boy with the mark on is face, the one who told of  the monster, has disappeared. 

janeleader | Student

Firstly Jack's relationship with Ralph highlights what he thinks about Piggy. When Piggy picks up the conch Jack's non verbal behaviour gives this away -" Jack, left on his feet, looked uncertainly at Ralph" suggesting that he does not think Piggy's comments will be worth listening too, or at the very least suggesting surprise that Piggy would consider himself important enough to put himself forward at that point.This immediately sets the tone of Jack's treatment of Piggy for this chapter. Regardless whether Piggy is the voice of reason or not Jack will suggest to the other boys that Piggy is irrelevant, unimportant, a joke, not to be looked up to - a character to be dismissed and ridiculed in the way that playgound behaviour might ridicule and bully.This effect is supported by Jack's put down of Piggy -“You’re hindering Ralph. You’re not letting him get to the most important thing.”

Jack can be considered to be acting as a bully and attempting to make  Piggy feel irrelevant in his put downs and references to pigs - Jack is the character who refers to the fact that there are pigs on the island and that their role is subservient to the boys - they are the food. When Piggy has the conch it is Jack who  gets it from Piggy on more than one occasion and refers the boys back to the leadership of Ralph...

“Ralph’s right of course."

This deference to Ralph and attempt to make Piggy appear irrelevant and less important is seen when Ralph looks towards both characters ="Ralph flushed, looking sideways at Piggy’s open admiration, and then the other way at Jack who was smirking and showing that he too knew how to clap."

Jack is quick to lead the boys to the extent of leaving Ralph behind when it was Ralph who suggested the need for a fire:"Ralph was left, holding the conch, with no one but Piggy." At this moment Jack has forgotten Piggy - Piggy is not important to Jack.

This lack of importance is emphasised later when Jack takes Piggy's glasses becasue there is no way of lighting the fire -" His voice rose to a shriek of terror as Jack snatched the glasses off his face." Jack has no care for Piggy and treats him as though Piggy has no feelings. Jack does not care that Piggy is frightened and does not respect Piggy enough to even ask for his glasses, or involve him in the decision to try to use the glasses to start the fire.

Jack's contempt for Piggy is clear and developed later when Piggy complains that they haven't made a fire. Jack is not interested in anything Piggy has to say; in fact Jack is more interested in ensuring that Piggy doesn't get to say anything that will have any effect on the boys.

Jack states - " a fat lot you tried.... you just sat" Jack appears angry that Piggy should deem to want a voice to say anything and repeats the direction that Piggy should "shut up". Jack's unfriendly behaviour is also couched in anger towards Piggy- fierce and abrupt. This is developed until Piggy no longer wishes to incur Jack's wrath - "Piggy opened his mouth to speak, caught Jack’s eye and shut it again."

Jack insults Piggy - "Yah fatty" Even when Piggy is being the serious adult voice Jack is insulting and dismissive - "shut up"

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

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