Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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The lie Jack tells at the assembly in Lord of the Flies

Summary:

In Lord of the Flies, Jack lies at the assembly by claiming that Ralph said the boys were cowards. This false statement is intended to undermine Ralph's authority and leadership, sowing discord among the boys and bolstering Jack's own power and influence.

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What lie did Jack tell at the assembly in Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies?

When Jack initially takes the conch and addresses the group of boys in chapter 8, he begins by mentioning that they saw the beast on the top of the mountain. He then lies to the boys by telling them that the beast is a hunter and says that Ralph called the hunters "no good." Both comments are lies because Jack could not have told whether or not the beast was a hunter and Ralph never said the hunters were no good.

Earlier in chapter 8, Ralph referred to the hunters as "boys armed with sticks" in order to convey the fact that Jack's hunters would not be capable of killing the menacing beast. However, Jack spins Ralph's words in hopes of damaging his reputation. Jack continues to lie to the boys by saying that Ralph thinks they are cowards and even mentions that Ralph did not go to the top of the mountain. Both of Jack's statements are lies, and Ralph did climb to the top of the mountain with Jack and Roger. Jack's initial attempt to usurp power fails and he quits Ralph's group.

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What lie did Jack tell at the assembly in Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies?

Jack calls an assembly in chapter 8 after Ralph, Jack, and Roger see the "beast" at the top of the mountain. He begins by telling the group of boys that they have seen the beast and that they couldn't kill it. Jack then immediatley begins to criticize Ralph by saying that Ralph thinks the "hunters are not good" and that Ralph thinks they are cowards. Jack tries to undermine Ralph's authority and position as cheif by telling the boys that Ralph is actually the coward because he was too afraid to go with Jack and Roger to the top of the mountain, which is a lie. In fact at the end of chapter 7, when the boys were on the top of the mountain, Ralph was hesitant at first, but he was the one who stood up and "took two leaden steps forward" toward the beast.

Jack lies to the boys because he realizes that he does not have as much power as Ralph, and he wants to make Ralph look bad in front of the other boys. Jack wants the boys to respect him more than Ralph.

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What lie does Jack tell at the assembly in Lord of the Flies?

In Chapter Seven of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Jack and Ralph continue up the mountain with Roger lagging behind.  Crawling along, they see the beast, "A creature that bulged."  It was "sitting asleep with its head between it knees."  But, when the wind blows, the creature seems to lift its head, "holding toward them the ruin of a face." The three boys flee in terror.

When they return to where Piggy and the others are, Ralph assures Piggy that they have seen the beast with "teeth...and big black eyes."  He continues saying that they will not fight it as the creature is too big.  But, it is near where the fire was as though preventing them from being rescued.  Again Jack and Ralph vie for the leadership as Ralph takes the conch from Jack and Jack interrupts him:

I've called an assembly...because of a lot of things.  First, you know now, we've seen the beast.  We crawled up.  We were only a few feet away.  The beast sat up and looked at us.  I don't know what it does. We don't even know what it is.

Then, after some of the boys say things like "The beast comes out of the sea--" and "Out of the dar," Jack lies by declaring, "The beast is a hunter," when he has just said that he does not know what the beast does. 

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