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Lord of the Flies: Jack and Ralph's Relationship

Jack and Ralph begin as friends but their relationship unravels as their ties to society become more and more distant.
by

Shelby Mackey

on 31 December 2012

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies: Jack and Ralph's Relationship

Will They Both Survive? Jack and Ralph's Relationship Timeline Chapter One Jack and Ralph first meet on the beach. Ralph is chosen as chief after Jack has volunteered. Seeing his embarrassment, Ralph is quick to place Jack in charge of his choir as the hunters of the island. Chapter Two "Once more, amid the breeze, the shouting, the slanting sunlight on the high mountain, was shed that glamour, that strange invisible light of friendship, adventure and content" (Golding, 38-39). Chapter Three Noticing Differences Chapter Four Difference in Priorities Chapter Five Losing Civility and Taking Control Becoming Friends "Jack and Ralph smile at each other with shy liking" (Golding, 20) On the Same Team Ralph and Jack have explored the island. They have decided it is a good island. They both attempt to exhibit their leadership skills. Ralph wants the littl'uns to believe there is no beastie. Jack says that he will kill the beast if their is one. They continue to work as a team as they build a fire. "Almost too heavy." Jack grinned back, "Not for the two of us" (Golding, 39). Priorities begin to change on the island. Rescue was high priority in the beginning, but it has begun to fall compared to fun and hunting. Ralph and Jack begin to see things differently and what is the most important for the boys: shelter or meat. Although they resolve the issue, conflict has begun to arise between the two. "We could steal up on one -- paint our faces so they wouldn't see -- perhaps surround then and then --"
Indignation took away Ralph's control.
"I was talking about smoke! Don't you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!"
"But we want meat!"
""And I work all day with nothing but Simon and you come back and don't even notice the huts!" (Golding, 55) "They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate. All the warm salt water of the bathing-pool and the shouting and splashing and laughing were only just sufficient to bring them together again" (Golding, 56). "A kind of glamour was spread over them and the scene and they were conscious of the glamour and made happy by it" (Golding, 22). The boys attempt friendship even though they have very different personalities. The boys work together for the tribe and convince the boys that it is a good island, however in different ways. Jack and Ralph have their first argument over shelter and hunting -- which is more important to the tribe's survival. Ralph notices a ship on the horizon! They are saved! Yet, as he looks to the top of the mountain, there is no smoke. The fire is out, and then hunters are off hunting pigs with their faces painted. The ship passes and the hunters come back with a pig. Ralph is upset with Jack for mixing up priorities and Jack realizes his mistake. They end up on different sides of a battle, with Ralph exerting dominance. "There was a ship. Out there. You said you'd keep the fire going and you let it out!" He took a step towards Jack who turned and faced him (Golding 74). Ralph is focused on rescue while Jack is focused on killing a pig. "No one, not even Jack, would ask him to move and in the end they had to build the fire three yards away and in a place not really as convenient. So Ralph asserted his chieftainship and could not have chosen a better way if had had thought for days. Against this weapon, so indefinable and so effective, Jack was powerless and raged without knowing why. By the time the pile was built, they were on different sides of a high barrier" (Golding 77). Ralph decides to call a serious meeting to discuss things. The meeting gets away from him when Jack begins to fight with Piggy and Jack and Ralph argue about the order of things. Jack takes over with talk of killing the beast. Ralph is left to contemplate the loss of civility on the tribe and whether or not he should give in to Jack's demands of being chief. Ralph and Jack argue over the ideas of what the tribe should be like and whose leadership makes more sense. "Jack! Jack! You haven't got the conch! Let him speak."
Jack's face swam near him.
"And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there - telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing -"
"I'm chief. I was chosen." (Golding 98) "The rules!" shouted Ralph, "you're breaking the rules!"
"Who cares?"
Ralph summoned his wits.
"Because the rules are the only thing we've got!"
But Jack was shouting against him.
"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 99) Primitive Settings Chapter Six Jack and Ralph go on an expedition together to find the beast. Jack is leading the group, but Ralph tries to assert his authority by keeping the fire a priority. The boys refuse to listen, as they are more interested in Castle Rock and hunting with Jack. Tension is growing and Jack is gaining power over the boys as Ralph tries to keep priorities straight. Ralph could no longer ignore his speech. The blood was hot in his cheeks.
"You haven't got the conch," he said. "Sit down."
Jack's face went so white that the freckles showed as clear, brown flecks. He licked his lips and remained standing.
"This is a hunter's job." (Golding 111) "I'm chief. We've got to make certain. Can't you see the mountain? There's no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?"
Mutionously, the boys fell silent or muttering.
Jack left the way down the rock and across the bridge (Golding 118). Jack Leads the Pack Chapter Seven Ralph becomes comfortable with Jack leading the boys through the woods to find the beastie. There is tension between the two as they attempt to exert leadership over one another and continue to fight over the right way to do things. Jack leads the boys to find the beastie and Ralph follows behind, as Jack continually forces Ralph into coming along to maintain his chieftainship. "The mountain," said Jack, "I told you." He sneered. "Don't you want to go to the mountain?"
Ralph sighed, sensing the rising antagonism, understanding that this was how Jack felt as soon as he ceased to lead.
"I was thinking of the light. We'll be stumbling about."
"We were going to look for the beast-"
"There won't be enough light.""I don't mind going," said Jack hotly. "I'll go when we get there. Won't you? Would you rather go back to the shelters and tell Piggy?" (Golding 129) "I'm going up the mountain."
The words came from Jack viciously, as though they were a curse. He looked at Ralph, his think body tensed, his spear held as if he threatened him.
"I'm going up the mountain to look for the beast - now."
Then the supreme sting, the casual, bitter word.
"Coming?" (Golding 131) Separation and Embarrassment Chapter Eight Jack challenges Ralph as leader. He attempts a mutiny against him but it backfires, leaving Jack rejected and alone. "Who thinks Ralph oughtn't to be chief?" He looked around expectantly at the boys ranged round, who had frozen. Under the palms there was deadly silence. (Golding 139) "I'm not going to play any longer....Not with you. I'm going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too." (Golding 140) Jack calls a meeting to become chief but it backfires when everyone still wants Ralph as chief. Jack goes off on his own, only to be joined by his hunters later on. He decides to throw a feast to spite Ralph and gain majority. Separate Tribes, Separate Beliefs Chapter Nine Jack manages to convince most of the boys to switch to his tribe during his party, calling out Ralph for needing him and his hunting as well. Jack throws a feast which Ralph attends for meat and to ensure nothing goes wrong. Jack uses this to gain followers and pull them away from the society of Ralph. However, even Ralph gets pulled into Jack's barbarianism which results in the death of Simon. "I gave your food," said Jack, "and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?"
"I'm chief," said Ralph, "because you chose me. And we were going to keep the fire going. Now you run after food--"
"You ran yourself!" Jack shouted. "Look at that bone in your hands!" (Golding 166) "I'll blow the conch," said Ralph breathlessly, "and call an assembly."
"We shan't hear it." (Golding 167) Chapter Ten Completing Dominance Ralph is defeated by the death of Simon. He and Piggy retire to their side of the island while Jack begins to control the boys. He decides to plan an attack on Ralph to steal Piggy's glasses. Jack terrifies the boys into following him but Ralph needs to be kicked while he is down. To completely disable all hope of being rescued, Jack steals Piggy's glasses during the night to prevent a rescue fire. "The Chief led them, trotting steadily, exulting in his achievement. He was the chief now in truth; and he made stabbing motions with his spear. From his left hand dangled Piggy's broken glasses." (Golding 186) "That was Jack and his hunters," said Ralph bitterly. "Why can't they leave us alone?" (Golding 185) Chapter Eleven Confrontation Ralph attempts to confront Jack about the glasses and it turns into a physical fight between the two boys, ending devastatingly. Ralph goes to confront Jack and they end up in a fist fight with spears. They yell and scream at one another, neither one giving way. Jack orders Sam and Eric to be tied up, and things escalate quickly. To end the fight, Piggy is killed by a falling boulder into the sea. "I say! You voted for me for Chief. Didn't you hear the conch? You played a dirty trick--we'd have given you fire if you'd asked for it--"
The blood was flowing in his cheeks and the bunged-up eye throbbed.
"You could have had fire whenever you wanted. But you didn't. You cam sneaking up like a thief and stole Piggy's glasses!" (Golding 196) Jack made a rush and stabbed at Ralph's chest with his spear. Ralph sensed the position of the weapon from the glimpse he caught of Jack's arms and put the thrust aside with his own butt. Then he brought the end round and caught Jack a stinger across the ear. They were chest to chest, breathing fiercely, pushing and glaring." (Golding 196) Chapter Twelve Out For Blood and Savagery Ralph hides in the bushes from Jack and his hunters as them attempt to hunt him down and put his head on the end of a stick. Ralph is completely on his own. He hides and runs from the other boys as Jack attempts to finally kill the only person standing in his way from complete savagery. With his death, Jack will be the only chief and the only voice of reason for the boys. Unfortunately for Jack, Ralph is saved by the fire designed to flush Ralph out. "The Chief and Roger--
--yes, Roger--
They hate you, Ralph. They're going to do you.
They're going to hunt you to-morrow.
But why?
I dunno." (Golding 209) "Ralph screamed, a scream of fright and anger and desperation. His legs straightened, the screams became continuous and foaming. He shot forward, burst the thicket, was in the opening screaming, snarling, bloody. He swung the stake and the savage tumbled over; but there were others coming towards him, crying out. He swerved as a spear flew past and then was silent, running." (Golding 221)
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