In Lord of the Flies, how does the character Jack show success?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack is successful as a hunter and as a leader. At the beginning of the story, when Jack first appears, he is leading the choir boys in a march across the beach toward the sound of the blowing conch. He is able to keep the boys literally in line, requiring them to march in formation with their hot clothes and caps on. Jack believes he should be elected chief of all the boys, but Ralph wins the election. However, Jack remains the leader of his choir boys, who become the hunters. When Jack later calls for a vote to remove Ralph from being chief, again the boys side with Ralph, causing Jack to leave the group and go off on his own. However, before the day has passed almost all the boys have flocked to him, joining him first in the hunt and then at his feast. Jack uses enticements, like having fun and eating meat, as well as intimidation, like beatings and stoking the boys' fears, to keep the boys loyal to him. 

Jack is also a successful hunter. Although at first he is squeamish about killing pigs and drawing blood, as early as chapter 3 he is devoting extra time and energy to learn how to track pigs. Once he has killed his first pig, he no longer fears, but rather enjoys, the taking of life and spilling of blood. Unfortunately, by the last chapter he is using his well-honed hunting skills to hunt Ralph with the intent to kill him.

garthman99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack showed considerable prowess as a hunter. But being recognized as such was apparently not enough for him. He believed that his prowess should have been rewarded with him being leader of the clan.  He was often at odds with Ralph over leadership and who should speak at the gatherings.  When he first asks for a vote that Ralph be deposed as leader, he is rejected again—for the second time—and he shows dejection and embarrassment and goes off by himself.

He goes and paints a mask over his face and asks the boys again; it is only then that some of them begin to reject the civilized Ralph and identify with Jack as leader. He celebrates this success by getting the boys that join him to form a circle and dance and chant.

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Lord of the Flies

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