In "Lord of the Flies", how does Jack feel about the rules the boys create? What is their plan to get rescued?

Expert Answers
caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack supposedly supports the rules at first; when the boys first suggest having rules, such as the conch giving its holder the sole privilege to speak, Jack responds enthusiastically, saying they'll have "lots and lots of rules", and gleefully promising punishment to anyone who breaks them. This is a foreshadowing of his future rule by force. Later, when we look back on Jack's behavior at this point in the development of the tribe and its social relationships, it seems like Jack's true interest in having "lots and lots" of rules, was to provide more opportunities for people to break them, and therefore to be punished.

Jack, ironically, is the first and most frequent breaker of the rules, particularly the rule of the conch, and he often invents exceptions to the rules that benefit him, such as claiming the conch doesn't apply on the mountain. It only takes a few chapters before Jack completely reverses his position;

“The rules!” shouted Ralph. “You’re breaking the rules!”

“Who cares?”

Ralph summoned his wits. “Because the rules are the only thing we’ve got!”

But Jack was shouting against him. “Bollocks to the rules!"

So, regardless of his early enthusiasm, Jack doesn't really invest any meaning in the rules, particularly if they get in his way. An important aspect of the rules that prevented Jack from respecting them was the fact that he was never actually punished for breaking them.

The rescue plan, established by Ralph during the boys' first assembly in Chapter 2, is to make themselves more obvious to any passing ships by starting a fire on the mountain, so the smoke will be more visible, and signal to anyone who can see it that there are people on the island. 


Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question