Lord of the Flies

How does the relationship between Ralph and Jack deteriate?

Lord of the Flies Essay

Ralph and Jack are friends at the start of the novel. They are the oldest boys on the island and both seem as if they have a similar personality. They are both tough and prestigious. Jack is a good leader, he knows how to receive everyones attention. He was the leader of his choir and head boy at his old school. Ralph is quite similar; he is attention seeking and incredibly confident.


However, their relationship is not smooth sailing forever. Ever since their plane crashed and they ended up on the island, they have both wanted to be Chief. Ralph was chosen for the role. Ralph made a diplomatic decision to give him an important role too. Ralph made Jack Leader of the Hunters. This was an extremely good move for Ralph because it shows he is loyal and respectful to his friends. Nevertheless, the fact that they both had important roles generated tension between one another. They started getting envious and jealous of each other. They both have to tackle different priorities. Ralph is eager for survival and eventual rescue. Jack on the other hand, is extremely fond of hunting and is keen to kill a pig for his nutrition.


This significant novel successfully illustrates that Ralph is altruistic and Jack is selfish because Ralph cares about everybody's benefit on the island whilst Jack is out hunting for his own benefit. He begins to become pretty absorbed in killing animals throughout the story. He hasn't yet grasped that it is more important to search for rescue than it is to hunt for survival. You will always be better off back home than you will ever be on a deserted island with no food whatsoever. His behaviour towards the other people on the island is absolutely pathetic. As Jack was always the head at his old school, we would expect him to set a better example to the younger pupils on the island.


Jack is utterly hooked on the idea of killing a pig so he camouflages his face with clay and charcoal. Then, he enters the jungle to hunt, accompanied by several other boys. On the beach, Ralph and Piggy see a ship on the horizon but they also see that the signal fire has gone out. They hurry to the top of the hill, but it is too late to rekindle the flame, and the ship does not come for them. Ralph is furious with Jack, because it was the hunters’ responsibility to see that the fire was maintained.


Most of the boys are tempted to join and bully Simon. Even Ralph and Piggy join in to murder simon for food. It is awful that they start to use each other as a form of health and nutrition. Jack persuades and even threatens other children to join in their scene. It shows you how little he cares about his friends and that he just classes them as his acquaintances.


By the time Simon dies, we would expect Jack to feel sincerely sympathetic and full of guilt. Nonetheless, he remains completely unaffected by the situation. To my surprise, Ralph seems to be the remorseful one. It shows that Ralph is good-natured and spirited. Jack grows more and more heartless to the extent that all he could ever want now is power.


Piggy dies from starvation and dehydration. Jack soon finds out but all he cares about is the fact that he is the new decision. Instead of mourning for Piggy, he celebrates his good news. Moreover, he viciously boasts to Ralph poking his spear in the boy's face. At this point, the boys are not only rivals but mortal enemies.


In conclusion, I believe that the personal conflict between Ralph and Jack mirrors the overarching thematic conflict of the novel. The conflict between the two boys brews as early as the election in Chapter 1 but remains hidden beneath the surface, covered up by the camaraderie the boys feel as they work together to build a community. In the later chapters, however, the conflict erupts into verbal argument for the first time, making apparent the divisions undermining the boys’ community and setting the stage for further, more violent developments. As Ralph and Jack argue, each boy tries to give voice to his basic conception of human purpose: Ralph advocates building huts, while Jack champions hunting. Ralph, who thinks about the overall good of the group, deems hunting frivolous. Jack, drawn to the exhilaration of hunting by his bloodlust and desire for power, has no interest in building huts and no concern for what Ralph thinks. But because Ralph and Jack are merely children, they are unable to state their feelings articulately.