What can you infer about Jack from this extract ("I agree with Ralph. We've got to have rules ... there'll be more smoke") in Lord of the Flies?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From this quote we can infer that Jack is selfish, authoritarian, and violent.

An inference is a guess based on evidence.

Ralph, as the first one who blows the conch, becomes the leader of the boys.  However, he vies with Jack for power from the very beginning.  When Ralph suggests that they need rules to keep the boys in line, Jack agrees—but not because he has the boys’ best interest at heart.

We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything. (ch 2)

We soon find that Jack is more interested in enforcing rules than following them.  He is excited by the possibility of punishing people who do not follow the rules.  Already, Jack is showing himself as the bully that he is, and he is not likely to share power willingly.

The difference in leadership styles between Jack and Ralph is obvious.  Ralph is the de facto leader, almost a reluctant leader.  He is handsome and persuasive.  He has the power of the conch on his side.  Jack, on the other hand, is wily and violent.  He has the lure of the hunt on his side.  Eventually, the power struggle between these two will tear the boys apart.

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Lord of the Flies

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