What makes Jack a powerful leader? How do you think William Golding wants you to respond to him?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack is an effective leader because he is direct, confident, and authoritative. Unlike Ralph, Jack exudes confidence and is respected for his hunting abilities. He is not only able to provide for the boys in his tribe but also claims to protect them from the beast. Jack is unwavering in his decisions and aggressively challenges anyone who disagrees with him.

Most importantly, Jack understands what motivates the members of his tribe and is in touch with their inherent desires. Jack is aware that the majority of the boys prefer hunting and lounging instead of working to maintain a civil society. This aspect of Jack's leadership is what Golding wants the readers to respond and connect to, which is Jack's ability to address the boys' inherent desires.

Golding's overarching message throughout the novel is that humans are inherently wicked individuals that will satisfy their primitive desires in a scenario where there are no laws or restrictions to stop them. Jack's ability to manipulate the members of his tribe into following his commands stems from his insightful understanding of human desires. Essentially, Jack is an effective leader because he understands how to reinforce and manipulate the members of his tribe by satisfying their primitive desires. 

troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack's overall appearance and personality make him the powerful leader that he is. He is described as taller than the other boys.  That alone gives him an advantage.  Then his outgoing personality and the fact that he is the choir leader gives him position in their social circles.  Another aspect of his personality is his arrogance.  He feels that he is better than the others, especially Piggy and the Littluns.  He is vocal in how he feels and even volunteers himself to be the chief. His moments of violence even in the beginning (when he steps on Piggy's specs) show his power.

Golding creates this monster of a character for us to represent all that is savage and potentially evil in all of humankind. He wants us to see how far kids would actually go and he represents the potential "evil doings" in all of us.  Jack is the extreme, as is Roger, but with Jack's leadership, Golding shows us how controlling one person can be, and how easy it is for a society to completely lose control by following the wrong person.

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Lord of the Flies

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