Why is Jack so intent on hunting and why is Ralph so concerned about the "littluns" in Lord of the Flies?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding Jack blames everyone else but himself for "not helping." For example, when it is time to group together for team work in building shelters, the younger boys run away to play. However, Jack himself is guilty of letting something else distract him from the major task of organizing themselves into a sheltered protected society that can survive until it is rescued. Only jack's "distraction" is more serious - the "game" he wants to play is killing. he has let the thought of this become an obsession so that he can never be a good leader of men. His primeval drive to kill has diverted him from focusing on his "men" and their welfare. A truly good "chief" or leader does not do this, but leads through concentration and wisdom.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Golding has them be like this because they are supposed to be representing two different attitudes.  Jack is the carefree, reckless one. He just wants to go hunting because that is what sounds cool to him.  He does not want to be responsible or anything like that.  He represents the bad side of human nature.

Ralph is concerned with trying to keep everyone safe and get them rescued.  He is the responsible one who tries to make rules that will work for everyone.  He represents the good side of human nature.

mkcapen1 | Student

Both boys have been given two very different personalities.  Ralph is the personality that represents civilized behavior, compassion, and concern.  He is what is good about humanity.  Jack is the opposite.  He is the antagonist.  Jack, without adult guidance and order, becomes the raw embellishment of savagery.  He demonstrates what happens when civilization begins to fall apart.

The author gave us the two characters so that the reader could identify the marked contrast as well as setting the stage for the conflict that will lead to the total breakdown of civilized social behaviors.  Like the world that the boy’s have been transported away from in order to escape the fall of civilization, they too have mimicked the behaviors of the fall of a civilization.

Only the fittest survive.


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Lord of the Flies

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