What is the overall conflict in Chapter 8 of the novel Lord of the Flies?

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The overall conflict in Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies is between the two sides of man: the innately savage man and the civilized man.

As the boys remain on the island and the influence of their former society becomes little more than a memory, the conditioning from civilization also wanes. This diminishing of civilized behavior increases as the supposed beast looms over them. The divisiveness between Jack and Ralph waxes as Jack blows the conch and informs the boys that Ralph has accused the hunters of being no good because he thinks the boys are cowards for having run from the boar and the beast. He argues further against Ralph:

"He's not a hunter. He'd never have got us meat....He just gives orders and expects people to obey for nothing. All this talk—"

Jack again makes a move to have Ralph removed as chief: "Hands up...whoever wants Ralph not to be chief?" But, when Jack does not receive the encouragement he seeks, he lays the conch carefully on the grass. Humiliated, he says, "I'm not going to be a part of Ralph's lot—," adding, "I'm going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too." So, Jack departs from the democratic rule of Ralph. When night falls, some of the boys sneak away to join Jack's group. Later, some of these boys return to steal burning logs from the fire that Piggy has suggested the boys build on the beach. They steal this fire so that they can cook the meat they have acquired from the slaying of a sow.

In the meantime, Simon steals away to his private place. There he encounters the head of the slain sow, who seems to talk to him. The head tells Simon,

"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!....You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?....I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?"

This insight into the evil that is intrinsic to man is so overwhelming to him that Simon faints.

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The overall conflict in Chapter 8 of the Lord of the Flies is Jack's departure from Ralph's group and his creation of a tribe dedicated to barbarism and savagery. Prior to Chapter 8, tension had been growing between Ralph and Jack over the responsibilities of the hunters and leadership roles. At the beginning of Chapter 8, Jack calls and assembly and attacks Ralph's character. Jack attempts to usurp power by calling for a vote to unseat Ralph as their leader. When no one agrees with Jack's assessment of Ralph as a leader, he storms off and invites his hunters to join him and his new tribe. Throughout the day, many of the boys sneak off and join Jack's tribe. Toward the end of the novel, after the boys successfully kill a pig, Jack's tribe raids Ralph's group and steals burning logs from their signal fire. Jack extends an invitation to the boys in Ralph's group to join his tribe for a feast. This conflict is significant because the schism between Ralph and Jack's tribes symbolize good vs. evil, moral vs. immoral, and civility vs. savagery. The fact that Jack attracted so many followers suggests that primitive human instincts are very attractive and hard to resist. Jack's new tribe is the epitome of barbarism, and their brutal murder of the sow is evidence of their violent ways. This conflict is the turning point in the novel, and Ralph will struggle against Jack's tribe for the remainder of the story.

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