The Relationship of Jack and Ralph in Lord of the Flies by Golding
In this piece of writing i am going to look at the relationship between Jack and Ralph. I am going to see if it changes and develops more as the play goes on. And if this happens I am going to comment on why I think it has changed.
From the very start of the play Jack and Ralph are the obvious leaders. Ralph is the oldest of the boys and is the holder of the conch. Because of this many of the boys think that he should be the leader of the group. But some of the group belong to the choir in which Jack is the leader. These boys look up to jack and listen to what he says. Although neither of the boys say that they want to be leader it is obvious that they both want to have control over the group. The boys decide that the only way to choose a leader fairly is to have a vote. This causes the first obvious point of tension between the two of them. Ralph wins the vote and is given the role of leader over the rest of the boys. Although jack is disappointed he doesn't show his feelings to the rest of the group.
Ralph and Jack both realise that in order for the group of boys to survive on the island they will have to work together. The relationship seems to be going smoothly as the boys help to build a shelter. The first shelter is built successfully and so some of the boys including Jack go and play in the sea leaving Ralph, Piggy and
Simon to build the other two shelters. This annoys Ralph and he decides to call a group meeting on the beach to set down some rules, which the boys will have to follow. Whilst Ralph is talking to the boys Jack says that there is to many rules and that the boys should be allowed to enjoy themselves and have fun. This is an obvious attempt to undermined Ralph's authority and control over the boys. Because of this Ralph feels pressurised and makes up a rule, which says no one can speak unless they are holding the conch. This but Ralph back in
control for a little while but some of the boys weren't sure for how long.
The next key point in which Ralph and Jack come into conflict is when the boys decide to make a fire for warmth and also as a smoke signal so passing ships can see it. The boys make the fire successfully and
they decide that there should be to people watching it at all times. This works for a couple of days until Jack persuades the twins, Sam an Eric, to leave the fire and go of hunting. This is a big mistake because the fire goes out and there is a ship spotted in the distance. It is to late to do anything so they have to leave there on chance of rescue sale away. This is a major point in the story because the group split. Jack decides to form a new tribe in which they will get regular meat and have fun at the same time. All Ralph has to offer is stability and the continuing efforts of being rescued. The group split and half of the boys go of with Ralph. This happened for one main reason. When Ralph was appointed as leader he wasn't strong and firm enough with the boys. This meant the boys didn't learn to respect him and when another offer of leadership came along they took it.
The boys have now lost total respect for each other and have gone their separate ways. This could have been a major mistake because if the boys as worked together as a team and not individuals they could've had the best of both of their ideas. From this point on Ralph and Jack don communicate with each other unless it is necessary. Jack and his tribe played a number of pointless trips on Ralph and his few followers that had stayed loyal to him. I think this was an attempt to show Ralph and his followers that they were in control now and that they would have to realise that and obey what they say and do. As time went on the boys left Ralph and went over to Jacks tribe. This happened until there was only Ralph and Jack left.
This happened because Jack offered a steady supply of meat and also fun at the same time. Where as Ralph was only concerned with being rescued. In the views of the boys Jack had won the battle of leadership a so they obeyed what he said. Not only because he had earned their respect but also because they were scared to go against his rules because he had harsh punishments.
Although Jack had won the battle of leadership he wanted to prove to the boys he was a true leader and a great hunter. He ordered the boys to sharpen their spears at both ends because they were going to hunt down Ralph and kill him as an offering to the "beast". I think this proves how un-secure Jack is, having to prove himself in this way to the people that are meant to be his friends. Jack tortured Sam an Eric until they told him where Ralph was hiding. Jack decided to smoke Ralph out by setting fire to the forest that covered the island. They
were treating Ralph like an animal. Just as it looked like they were going to catch him a sailor appeared on the island. The boys seem to change back from being savage like to normal teenagers over a period of seconds.
I think this story shows how if you can work together things can go right, but if you split up and work as individuals things may not run as smoothly.