Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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In Lord of the Flies, what is the escalating conflict between Jack and Ralph?

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In chapter 1, the boys determine that they need a leader. Jack is the type of boy who loves control, and simply expects others to look up to him.  He vies for their vote, saying “‘I ought to be chief, because I’m chapter chorister and head boy.  I can sing C sharp.’”  Instead the boys vote Ralph as leader, mainly because he is the one holding the conch shell, which Piggy had him blow to call all the boys together.  He has gathered them together, giving them a little bit of security. The boys are also swayed by his "stillness..., his size and attractive appearance."  When they all cheer for Ralph, even the choir boys, “the freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification.”  He feels humiliated by Ralph.  Thus begins his jealousy towards Ralph, which grows to a hatred as they struggle for survival on the island.  Ralph understands Jack's awkward position and tries to mollify him: “‘The choir belongs to you, of course.’”  This is Ralph’s...

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