Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Who abuses power in the "Lord of the Flies"? William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The two characters who have been given power by the other boys on the island in "Lord of the Flies" are, indeed, Ralph and Jack.  Certainly, Ralph does, at times, take advantage of his power as he deprecates Piggy and insists on his way sometimes.  However, the character who is the most abusive of power is Jack.  Voted as the head of the hunters, he carries his leadership beyond reasonable limits as he forces his group to separate themselves from the otherboys and to perform savage rituals and engages them in the theft of the fire from Ralph's group.  In addition, he steals from Piggy's his...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 549 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write858 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

xochelxo | Student

Jack abuses his power; he uses the boys' fear to his advantage. By using the littluns fear of the 'beast', Jack gets them to follow his orders therefore getting them to do all of his dirty work.

Although, it is also clear to us that Roger abuses the power that Jack holds over the others. Due to Jack's leadership style (mainly violence.), Roger is able to perform sinister acts towards the younger boys and get away with it. He tortures them which brings him excitement. '...threw to miss.' 

user8427291 | Student


“‘He’s going to beat Wilfred.’

‘What for?’

Robert shook his head doubtfully.

‘I don’t know. He didn’t say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up’”


user8427291 | Student


mkcapen1 | Student

In the book" The Lord of the Flies" most people would immediately say that Jack abused power.  The reader is aware that Jack wants power and grasps for it at the first assembly of the boys when he tells the others that he should be the chief because he was the leader of the choir boys.  Later in the book he uses his emerging skills and willingness to hunt to persuade the other boys to join his tribe.  Once they join his tribe, he sits among the group as if on a throne having the boys serve him and gives them commands which they follow. However, he is just one of the many who abuse power on the island.

The older boys hold power over the younger children.  Roger throws rocks at the younger children and teases them.  The older boys all mock Piggy and mistreat him. Eric bosses Sam.  In the book it is evident that without adults to place some degree of restraint on the boys each one has abused power over younger or weaker boys with the exception of Simon. He is more the spiritual representation.  Even Piggy grabs the conch out of another child’s hand.


check Approved by eNotes Editorial