Differences between Jack and Ralph represented through their actions as chief Jack and Ralph are two exceedingly different characters. Jack is the id, the type of personality that acts on impulse in order to receive immediate gratification. Ralph is the ego, a decision maker. Jack is power hungry and harbors a deadly need to control all around him, but Ralph considers himself another one of the boys. Throughout The Lord of the Flies, the numerous ways Golding contrast Jack and Ralph are almost as numerous as the sum of dissimilarities. The differences between Jack and Ralph are represented through their actions and behavior as chief. First of all, positioning always creates a significant effect on situations and appearances. Ralphs and Jacks seats among the boys illustrate how each as an individual feels in an authoritative position among the boys.
Ralph sat on a fallen trunk… on his right were most of the choir; on his left the larger boys… before him small children (32).
Here Ralph is surrounded by the other boys on the island. His seat is the seat is among the other boys. Despite Ralph possessing power over the boys, Ralph places himself among the boys, symbolizing Ralph considers himself just another one of the boys, no better or no worse. However, Jack does not consider himself just another one of the boys.
Quite the opposite, Jack considers himself better than the other boys. Both occurrences in which Jacks seat is mentioned Jack is secluded, or, in other words, sitting where the other boys may be privileged to a full view of him. … the tribe lay in a semicircle before him (160) and …the boys arranged themselves in rows on the grass before him (150).
Lord Of The Flies is possibly one of the most complex novels of the twentieth century. This complexity and depth is evident when the characters are compared to the psychological teachings of Freud. The book shows examples of this psyche in the characters Jack, Piggy and Ralph and how they change during their time on the island. Towards the end of the eighth chapter it became very apparent that ...
Jack uses his seat and the places of the boys as reminders of his authority. Golding emphasizes Jacks self claimed superiority by writing, Jack rose from the log that was his throne..
Ralphs seat is never mentioned as a throne throughout the entire book but a fallen trunk (32).
Yet another way the differences between Jack and Ralph are demonstrated is how they keep their power and authority. Ralph is good-hearted and gentle and uses words and the conch to get the boys attention. Often Ralph would remind the boys, You voted me chief. Now do what I say (81) in order to settle the boys down or convince the boys to do something.
Other times Ralph will display the conch in his hands, he held the conch before his face… (33) reminding them of all the rules associated with the conch. On the other hand, Jack threatens with violence and utilizes fear in order to stay in control. Hes going to beat Wilfred up. What for? I dont know. He didnt say. (159) Here, Jack is employing violence to warn the boys that this was what he could do, and any one of them could be in Wilfreds place.
Not only does Jack rule with violence, but Jack hinders rebellion with fear, more specifically fear of the beastie. Even when the boys remind Jack that the tribe killed the beastie, Jack screams, No!… No! How could we-kill-it? (160).
Although the death of the beastie was witnessed by everyone, in order to retain the boys dependence on him for protection, Jack claims killing the beastie is impossible. Violence and fear mark Jack throughout his time as chief, symbolizing his crude, savage, and inhuman personality. Another way the two chiefs differ is represented by how they treat the other. Ralph is welcoming, and his hospitality is no stranger to Jack. Even though Ralph is chosen chief, Ralph looked at him, eager to offer him something (23), the him referring to Jack, and the something to offer power and control.
Ralph ventures far enough to offer Jack control of a portion of the boys when he matter-of-factly states, The choir belongs to you, of course (23), and announcing Jacks gain of power to the other boys, Jacks in charge of the choir (23).
... but the boys elect Ralph as their chief. Ralph puts Jack in charge of the choir boys and names them the official hunters. Then Ralph, Jack, and Simon ... and rejected because of his looks, and used for his glasses, which are the only means of starting the fire. Piggy ... the book. The head is the beast that all the fear and represents the inner instincts and evils in man. Samneric ...
Ralph does not feel threatened by allowing someone else to participate in governing along with him, but instead is eager. This inclusion represents Ralphs desire for teamwork, and to make Jack feel comfortable. Selfishly, Jack does not return the favor to Ralph when Jack appoints himself chief. Quite the opposite, Jack refuses Ralph at the entrance of the fort. Not only does Jack himself refuse Ralph, but Jack orders the rest of the boys to refuse Ralph as well. And he said not to let you in (176), the he referring to Jack and the you referring to Ralph. Unlike Ralph, Jack fears sharing power makes him a less respected and feared leader, therefore Jack does not wish to make Ralph comfortable, Jack wishes to make Ralph nonexistent.
Samneric warn Ralph, Theyre gonna do you tomorrow (188).
Jacks hatred and jealously of his counterpart is so great that Jack resorts to premeditated murder to extinguish the only obstacle in his way of total domination. Civilization and its deterrence are displayed in Jack and Ralph in how they individually obtain the glasses from Piggy while chief. At the beginning of the book, both boys are equal in civility. They both use force to obtain Piggys glasses. …Jack snatched the glasses off his face…Ralph elbowed him to one side… (40).
However, later on as Jack and Ralph begin to separate from one another, Ralph becomes increasingly civil, so civil, that Piggy handed Ralph his glasses (162).
Ralph no longer has to take the glasses, but waits for the glasses to be handed to him, like a gentleman. Unlike Ralphs gain of manners, Jacks behavior declines to a rough, savage level. Not only is the word savage is used nearly twenty times in the last two chapters alone to describe Jack, Jacks method of obtaining Piggys glasses are dependably savage as well. Weve had a fight with the others (167), are Ralphs words to the littluns when they begin to scream and inquire of the clamor that takes place. Ralph later admits, That was Jack and his hunters (167).
Golding goes on to tell us at the end of the chapter just what then reason for the attack is, From his left hand dangled Piggys broken glasses (168).
Throughout the book Ralph is the ego. Ralph thinks matters through. His leadership is clearly visible. From the beginning, Ralph lays down rules that are to be followed, and he often reminds the boys of the rules. One of the first rules is about the conch shell and speaking, Ill give the conch to the next person to speak… And he wont be interrupted by anyone but me (33).
Character Analysis: Ralph: main character- Ralph is the narrator of the story. Jack: Jack is Ralph main enemy in the story. He leads the hunters. Piggy: Piggy is the smart one of the group. Simon: He is my favorite character in the story. He is viewed as the Christ-figure and interprets the mysteries of the island. Roger: Roger is Jack's "sidekick" and is a vicious murderer at heart. Sam and Eric: ...
After a short while on the island Ralph calls a meeting to remind the boys of the rules, So remember. The rocks for a lavatory.
Keep the fire going and smoke showing as a signal. Dont take fire from the mountain. Take your food up there (81).
Ralph exercises his power to get things done, Now I say this and make it a rule, because Im chief (81).
Jack is the id. Everything Jack does is for immediate gratification.
They had smoked him out and set the island on fire (197).
Jack is trying to capture Ralph in order to kill him, simply because Jack just does not like Ralph. Setting the island on fire will not only burn the fruit trees down, but the fire will also kill all the pigs Jack promises to hunt for the boys. Jack does not think of how the boys will survive when there is nothing to eat; he only thinks of killing Ralph. Although Jacks method of commanding the boys is savage, they produce infinitely better results than Ralphs gentle, fatherly nature. Jacks command for complete attention and loyalty is observed with unfailing obedience, while Ralph is continually excited by the hope of progress, then later crushed by the realization that the boys will not carry out his request. The only ones who may have stood by his side are killed, and poor Ralph is left by boys who choose the violent and unrealistic Jack, instead of the gentle, fatherly Ralph. Matters are worse when the same boys who disown Ralph and pledge allegiance to Jack and become savage just like their un-noble leader. Golding depicts the theme of mans predisposed descend into evil the remaining boys becoming savage and turning on the last trace of civility on the island.
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