Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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When does Piggy explain to Ralph that Jack is dangerous in Lord of the Flies?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Towards the end of chapter five, Jack and his hunters leave the assembly without being excused and Ralph begins to lament about the difficulty of being chief. When Ralph mentions that he should quit being chief, Piggy immediately responds by saying,

"If Jack was chief he’d have all hunting and no fire. We’d be here till we died" (Golding, 131).

Piggy understands that Jack is solely focused on hunting and is a savage, dangerous individual. Piggy goes on to mention that he fears Jack and believes that he would harm him if Ralph gave Jack the power and opportunity to do so. Piggy is a proponent of civility and cannot physically defend himself against Jack, which is why he values rules and regulations. Piggy realizes that Ralph is the only person who prevents Jack from causing him harm, which is why he desperately encourages Ralph to not give up his position as chief. Piggy tells Ralph,

"[Jack] can’t hurt you: but if you stand out of the way he’d hurt the next thing. And that’s me" (Golding, 133).

Piggy then tells Ralph that Jack also hates him and acknowledges that Jack threatens to prevent the boys from establishing a civil society on the uninhabited tropical island.

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luannw eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Close to the end of chapter 5, Piggy tells Ralph that if Jack were chief, they'd all be hunters, there'd be no signal fire, and they'd all be on the island until they died. He tells Ralph that Jack hates him because Ralph is chief and Jack isn't.  Piggy goes on to tell Ralph that Jack can't hurt him (Ralph), but if Ralph were gone, Jack would hurt him (Piggy).  Piggy says that Jack is a threat to everyone on the island because he wants to be the supreme dictator, not a democratic leader such as Ralph is.  Piggy says that Jack is especially dangerous to him, Piggy.  Piggy sees, before the naive Ralph does, that Jack wants complete control and that Jack is dangerous to all of them.

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