The events of Chapters One to Five of Lord of the Flies Essay
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
Lord of the Flies is a classic novel, written by William Golding, encompassing the fragility of man’s nature when stranded on a deserted island. Jack, a prominent character in the novel discovers that order is the key to surviving the situation the boys are in. However, this deeply held belief changes as Jack endures a pivotal moment by the end of Chapter Five, and we begin to Jack’s true colors.
We are first introduced to Jack as he marches his group of choirboys towards the sound of the conch.
”…Party of boys marching…in two parallel lines dressed…throat to ankle…by black cloaks” (16) it is apparent that Jack is the leader immediately, he is described as ‘The boy who controlled them”.(16) Jacks insistence that the choir wear their uniform, regardless of the scorching sun and unbearable heat of the tropics, gives the impression that he is one for strictly abiding by the rules.
Jack implements the election of a leader and instantaneously promotes himself ” ‘I ought to be chief’ said Jack with simple arrogance.
” (19). On the contrary, a different boy is chosen as leader, “Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification.” (20) Through this Jack begins to realize that he will no longer be treated the same as he was before. Although Jack is humiliated, he quickly moves on and ignores this minor setback, refusing to let it damage what he knows is his destiny to be leader. Jack then stresses the importance of organization and rules. ” ‘We’ll have rules!’ He cried excitedly. ‘Lots of rules!'”(33).
Jack is very negative towards a commonly targeted character nicknamed Piggy. He constantly torments and taunts him. This is evident from the very beginning. “We don’t want you’ said Jack flatly.’ (21) He frequently impugns the power of the conch, declaring that conch rules do not matter on certain parts of the island. Yet, he uses the conch to his advantage as much as possible.
For instance, when he calls his own assembly to impeach Ralph. For him, the conch represents the rules and boundaries that have kept him from dominating others. In the world the come from, the boys have been manipulated by strict rules, set by a society against physical aggression. These morals grow thinner and thinner for Jack as he adapts to the island. To illustrate, Jack cannot kill the pig, he cannot begin to think about doing something so savage-like, it is out of the question. “Jacks face was white under the freckles” (29) “I was going to [kill the pig]” (30) “They knew very well why he hadn’t; because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood” (30)
Golding illustrates the change in Jack’s character in a variety of ways. Jack insists on treating Piggy as if he were a minority. He uses Piggy’s glasses to light a fire, denies him authority when he has the conch, and doesn’t give him any meat. “Piggy spoke, almost dribbling ‘Aren’t I having none?’ Jack had meant to leave him in doubt, as an assertion of power, but Piggy by advertising this omission made more cruelty necessary. ‘You didn’t hunt'” (79)
This endeavor that begins with a desire of meat and unfolds to the constant urge to master and kill all other living creatures, make jack develop not as a man, but as an animal. His domain is the emotions, which rule and fuel his animal nature. He begins to take on a whole new personality with his painted face. Now that he has a mask, it’s acceptable to do what he wants “…the mask was a thing on its own, behind, which Jack, hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” (68)
Golding uses British schoolboys to illustrate where they’re coming from. In jack’s case, it’s what he will become. His basis of rules and limitation sink beneath his urge to establish his leadership. He quickly loses interest in that world of politeness and boundaries, which is why he does not attend to responsibilities for the betterment or survival of the group in its entirety. Golding uses subtle hints to convey Jack’s pivotal moment in his nature. “he began to dance and his laughter became a blood thirsty snarling” (68) As Jack rises on the totem pole of power, his behavior becomes more violent, and the security of the community is jeopardized.