Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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In Lord of the Flies, what event seems to have triggered Jack's aggressive behavior?

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Fascinated with hunting, Jack indicates he enjoys that aspect of “being a man” early in the story. Indeed, he believes he should be leader because he is a hunter and can kill. In Jack’s view, he can make and use weapons, and for him that is needed more than anything else to survive. He associates leadership and violence.  After the children mistake the parachute man for the beast, the stakes increase. Ralph inadvertently insults Jack by saying he and his hunters cannot fight the beast, which triggers a vote as to whom the children want to lead.  When Ralph wins, Jack says “I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you,” and takes his hunters off with him to form a different tribe. This is the turning point for Jack’s violence—soon afterwards Simon is killed in their ritual of violence, Jack and his tribe take Piggy’s glasses, and Ralph’s attempts to hold civilization together are greatly shaken.

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