Why Does Jack Refuse To Give Piggy Meat
In Lord of the Flies, why does Jack refuse to give Piggy meat? And how is this tactic beneficial to Jack's campaign for leadership?
From the beginning of the story, we see the power struggle between Ralph and Jack. Jack wants to be seen as the one who is the leader. By Jack asserting his power over Piggy, he is showing the rest of the group that he is in control and that he has all the power. When Jack feels like his authority is being questioned, he reacts by hitting Piggy. He knows he can pick on someone weaker than he is, and no one will question it. Jack knows that deep down, Ralph is the true leader, but Jack has to prove to the others that it is him, not Ralph, that can take care of them.
When Jack allows Piggy to have some of the meat, he is showing that he has the say of who eats and who doesn't. He is once again asserting his authority over the group. The boys are terrified of being stranded on the island, and Jack steps up and uses that to his advantage. He makes it look like he is their salvation. Jack realizes that Piggy and Ralph are smarter and thinking clearly about their situation, so Jack uses his ability to give food or to take away food to keep the group dependent on him.
Jack refuses to give Piggy meat because this is Jack's way of asserting his power. He is showing Piggy that he, Jack, has the power to determine whether or not the boys eat - this is one of the most basic, important powers among mankind. This helps Jack's campaign because being a food provider is essential to the boys' existence. As the leader of the hunter group, Jack is now raised to a higher level of leadership than what Ralph has as head of the group which is in charge of providing shelter and is failing miserably.
Piggy is upset that the fire went out, and he and Jack argue. Jack and Piggy fight, Jack punches him, which causes Piggy's glasses to fall and break. Because of this altercation, Jack considers not letting Piggy have any of the meat from their slain pig. In the end, he allows it. Jack gains prominence, because he was able to provide food for the group. It is a good tactic for Jack, being in the position of denying food is a powerful position.