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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Which quote from Lord of the Flies shows Jack using violence to gain control?

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In chapter 5, Jack cries:

“Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong—we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat—!”

This bold assertion of violence excites the listening boys, and they respond approvingly, "full of noise and excitement, scramblings, screams and laughter."

When the novel opens, choir leader Jack is angry and sulky because he is not elected leader. At that point though he shows a willingness to follow civilized rules and norms. As time goes on he realizes that giving into his lust for violence and rule-breaking is a potent source of power. He can gain followers and do what he wants the more savage and autocratic his behavior becomes. He recognizes that in the absence of adult authority, there is no one to put a stop to his violence.

Jack, the Hitler figure in the novel, abandons logic, reason, and the rule of law. Instead, he appeals to the most atavistic, "primitive" desires in the boys and encourages them to let their ids run loose. His society of hunting, violent ritual, cruelty, sadism, wild dancing, and body painting is so alluring it wins out over Ralph and Piggy's less entrancing world of rationality, foresight, and decency. Left to their own devices, the boys simply follow the one who allows them to give into the impulses of the moment.

By the end of the novel Jack's leadership set the island on fire, which, ironically, catches the attention of the British ship that comes to rescue them.

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In Lord of the Flies, Jack is disappointed and surprised that he is not the natural choice for leader and, instead, the boys, stranded on a deserted island, vote for Ralph as chief. It is something of a consolation that Jack, as "chapter chorister" of a group of some of the boys will be in charge of, as he calls them, the "hunters." Jack does have a respect for Ralph, at first, although he does regularly challenge authority. Determined to catch a pig, Jack wants to camouflage himself which disguise gives him an exhilarated feeling to the point where his laughter is described as "a bloodthirsty snarling." The reader is told that,"Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness," (ch 4). The reader is thus forewarned and is being prepared for what may follow as Jack continues to show signs of what lengths he will go to in order to exert his authority. 

Piggy is afraid of Jack, who bullies and makes fun of him. In chapter 5, Piggy who is insightful and intelligent tells Ralph that he is scared of Jack:

If you're scared of someone you hate him but you can't stop thinking about him. You kid yourself that he's all right really, an' then when you see him again; it's like asthma an' you can't breathe. I tell you what. He hates you too, Ralph-"

As the plot unfolds, Piggy's words prove to be correct and it is Jack's ability to lead by fear that allows him to form his "tribe." Jack has his tribe chanting "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" This is the same chant which has the tribe in such a frenzy that they kill Simon without recognizing him.

In chapter 11,Piggy will suffer a similar fate at Jack's hands but, before this, Jack seizes an opportunity to capture Samenric, shouting angrily at his tribe to "grab them!" It is obvious that they are operating on Jack's orders:

The painted group moved round Samneric nervously and unhandily...."Tie them up!"...Now the group... felt the power in thier hands...Jack was inspired..."See? They do what I want."

Jack is proud of his "solid mass of menace," and before long, more tragedy strikes as Piggy is catapulted through the air. He is dead but Jack can only relish his position as the obvious "Chief," when he says "See? See? That's what you'll get! I meant that!"  

Simon and Piggy are both dead and Ralph's life is in danger. Ralph, especially as he realizes that he will be unable to persuade Samenric to help him create an "outlaw" tribe against Jack, can only hide away now as Jack seems to become more powerful as he becomes more savage.    

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In chapter 8, Jack makes the others tie Wilfred up for apparently no reason, and beats him.

Jack rules by violence, not democracy.  He makes decisions out of anger, and enforces them by fear.  For example, he gets mad and has Wilfred tied up for hours, waiting to be beaten for some unnamed crime.

The chief was sitting there, naked to the waist, his face blocked out in white and red. The tribe lay in a semicircle before him. The newly beaten and untied Wilfred was sniffing noisily in the background. (ch 8)

The other boys, especially the hunters at first, respond to Jack’s violence.  He makes everything seem exciting.  He has experience in leadership as head of the choir, but even then he was a drill sergeant, leading by bullying.

Even when he is not attacking the pig or beating up boys, Jack is impulsive and violent.  He acts without thinking, and yells and pouts.  He rages and tantrums, and the other boys learn to see him as volatile and dangerous.

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In the novel Lord of the Flies, what is a quote that depicts how Jack attempts to take power through acts of savagery or violence?

In Chapter 5, Ralph calls an assembly to discuss how the boys are not following through with his decisions. Ralph mentions that the boys need to decide on what to do about the identity of the beast. Jack takes the conch and tells the boys that if there were a beast, he would have seen it while he was hunting. Piggy says he agrees with Jack and does not believe in the beast either. Then, a littlun named Percival claims he saw a creature come out of the sea, and Simon attempts to explain the true identity of the beast. It is suggested that Percival saw a ghost. Ralph finally grabs the conch and decides to hold a vote as to whether ghosts exist on the island. Piggy rips the conch from his hands and claims that he didn't vote for ghosts on the island. Jack becomes aggressive and tells Piggy to shut up. Ralph yells at Jack for speaking without the conch and Jack says,

"Bollocks to the rules! We're strong---we hunt! If there's a beast, we'll hunt it down! We'll close in and beat and beat and beat----!" (Golding 91)

Then, Jack begins to lead the group of hunters in a ceremonial tribal dance along the beach. As Jack leads his hunters away, Ralph resists from blowing the conch.

Jack openly defies Ralph and comments on his abilities to violently hunt the beast. He is successful in taking power from Ralph by leading the boys away from the assembly and ignoring the rules of the conch. Jack rallies support by appealing to violence and savagery.

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