Why does Jack command the boys to dance and chant, and why is this an effective leadership tactic?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Jack commands the boys "Do our dance! Come on! Dance!" in chapter nine of Lord of the Flies after Ralph has questioned his authority in front of the other boys (150).  Jack uses the dance and chanting as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from Ralph's very serious and practical questions about the building storm and shelter.  The dance serves as a unifying ritual, pulling all the boys into a frenzy of blood-lust, led by Jack, the most powerful hunter in the group.  Jack's call to dance deflects the boys' focus from more practical matters; his tactic is both effective and manipulative.  The chant unifies the boys into a common purpose, making it very easy for them to forget about their worries on the island.


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