In Lord of the Flies, what are Jack's attitudes toward grownups?Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Within the allegory of William Golding, Piggy most closely represents adults; therefore, to examine Jack's attitude toward adults, the reader may wish to look at the interplay between Jack and Piggy. In this relationship, Jack's disrespect and rebellion is evident once he finds himself in the absence of civilization.  Even in Chapter One, Jack's arrogance emerges as he tells Piggy, "Shut up, Fatty." And, he first broaches the subject of being rescued.  When Piggy wants to be included with Simon and Ralph as they set out on an expedition, Jack tells him, "We don't want you."

In Chapter Four, Jack "smacked Piggy's head.  Piggy's glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks."  When Jack carelessly breaks Piggy's glasses, he does not apologize; instead, he thrusts his head significantly over the top of a rock that lies between them, mimicking the whine and scramble of Piggy for his glasses.  Later, in Chapter Four, Jack talks over Piggy even though Piggy holds the conch.  Further, Jack steals Piggy's glasses as the ultimate insult and refuses to return them; then, he allows Roger "with a sense of delirious abandonment" to push the boulder that strikes Piggy's head, sending him careening through the air, then crashing against the great pink rocks.  After this, Jack merely shouts, "I'm chief!" as he has lost all respect and recognizes only brute,savage force. Only the reappearance of the adult world as civilization at the end of the novel reduces Jack to embarrassed silence as he recalls his previous conditioning by society.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of the Flies, Jack is the character who represents the darker elements of human nature.  Despite that, when we first meet him he's pretty civilized--especially compared to what he's going to become.  He's head chorister and leads his choir to the sound of the conch.  He thought it was a trumpet and he thought it was being blown by an adult.  To that extent, then, he was willing to be obedient to an adult presence on the island.  Once he knows there are no adults, though, he begins his steady decline into savagery.  He isn't particularly concerned with rules or obeying the rules set by Ralph, the leader and the closest thing the boys have to an adult.  Though he was willing to be obedient in the beginning, soon Jack is not eager to be rescued or to return to the world of adults.  He becomes the Chief of a savage tribe, and he has no need for or interest in having any adult presence on this island or in his life. 

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Lord of the Flies

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