What is friendship? How does one truly begin a friendship and how does a friendship end? In William Golding’s book “Lord of the flies” he describes this. He shows how jealousy and power affects a relationship. Jack and Ralphs starts liking each other in the beginning, yet as the story unfolds it is easy to se that there is not a single drop of friendship left. When Jack and Ralph first met, they were forced by the situation to like each other.
They are both strong characters and they seem to have the ability to take control over the situation.
The island seemed like a wish come true for them. It was a place where they did not have to follow the rules of the adults. Ralph and Jack knew that instantly and it made them long to spend the time that they were given on the island by their own rules. The island could be their tropical paradise. We are told that Ralph is more appealing and a better speaker.
He is also the largest and most physically powerful boy on the island, whereas Jack is described as downright ugly and mean. Ralph comes off as pleasing and rational and Jack as demanding and aloof.
It’s was obviously that Ralph would be the chief due to his people-skills but Jack expected that he would become it, due to the status he had back home. After this there was a friction between the two boys that did not go away, but it only increased. Jack wanted to take the power from Ralph that resulted in Jack quickly trying to seize the opportunity of befriending Ralph and gain authority and control back that way. Ralph was not aware of this and he offered Jack the command over the choir, hoping to gain an ally, not an enemy.
Ralph did not wanted to be alone with power. “I’m chief then. ” Ralph said. The circle of boys broke into applause. Even the choir applauded; and the freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of morti?cation. He started up, then changed his mind and sat down again while the air rang. Ralph looked at him, eager to offer something. ” From this quote it can be seen that Jack wanted the power and almost objected when Ralph got chosen. Ralph wanted the island to be a sanctuary for all the boys, but Jack only wanted a sanctuary for himself.
Laws and rules interested him only because they would give him the chance to punish the other boys and express his dominance over them. As the story continued Jack started to ignore Ralph and make his own rules and Ralph became desperate. After some time on the island Ralph started to become aware of the fact that they might not get rescued. He became obsessed with keeping the fire alive and talking about going home while Jack became obsessed with hunting and the idea of being able to survive on the island and to no longer be in need of rescue.
Jack slowly started to ignore Ralph’s orders and stopped using his choir to fulfill Ralph’s demands. Ralph was left alone with the responsibility and it made him feel weak and exposed. His paradise was slowly starting to dissolve. It made him realize that the responsibilities that came along with being chief was greater and not as fun as he originally thought. He insisted on planning and following the rules, and he was able to prioritize the needs of the group above his own selfish desires.
For example, Ralph built the huts even though he disliked the work, in contrast to the other boys who went off to play whenever they disliked doing something. “Ralph spoke. “You let the ?re go out. ”Jack checked, vaguely irritated by this irrelevance but too happy to let it worry him. “We can light the ?re again. You should have been with us, Ralph. We had a smashing time. ” In this quote it can be seen that Jack no longer cares about the rules. After the incident with the fire and the ship, Ralph felt like he was no longer able to trust Jack, and Jack felt superior to him because of the slaughtering of the pig.
Jack had now proven that he could dominate nature, and that he longer desired society. Jack’s dislike of Ralph grew due to the fact that he now had seen that Ralph was “weak” and depended on rescue. Consequently Ralph and Jack’s relationship became strictly rivalry. Furthermore Jack tried to out shine Ralph at any given opportunity, making Ralph frustrated with his behavior. Even the search for the beast became a competition. It can be seen in this quote “If you don’t want to go on,” said the voice sarcastically, “I’ll go up by myself. ” Ralph heard the mockery and hated Jack. Jack was trying to sabotage Ralph’s wishes and fulfill his own. In the end Jack was no longer able to co-exist on the same island as Ralph. Jack had lost every bit of respect he had for Ralph and Ralph just wanted to go home. Jack saw Ralph as a weakling. He saw himself as superior to Ralph and he wanted all of the kids to obey him. He tried once more to get elected as chief, but he failed to succeed. The other boys would not openly admit that they supported him and was drawn to Jack’s savagery, despite that only a few stayed with Ralph when Jack’s small tribe offered hem meat. Ralph’s rational tribe was now outnumbered by Jack’s. The night that Simon died Ralph realized that they had gone too far and he knew that unless a drastic change would happen, they would all die. That resulted in Piggy’s death. Ralph had tried to talk reason into Jack but he had failed and Jack took the last two supporters that Ralph had. Throughout the novel Ralph gets frightened of the savagery inside himself, in the beginning he toys with it, but makes sure that he is able to control it.
Jack is feeding his dark side from the start by bullying Piggy and after the first try to kill a pig had failed he felt that he needed to prove himself. He addresses the rest of the kids by the primal instinct inside of them. He offers them meat, which is something they can understand. Most of the kids are no longer able to see the use of hoping to get rescued. “These painted savages would go further and further. Then there was that inde?nable connection between himself and Jack; who therefore would never let him alone; never. ” This shows that Ralph knew that Jack held a grudge against him.
By the end of the novel Jack was wielding power only for his own benefit. He made all of the kids hunt Ralph due to is suppressed jealousy and need for power. He saw Ralph as the last thing keeping him from complete power. In conclusion Jack never liked Ralph and that resulted in an almost constant competitive battle between them and in the end Jack wants to make sure of his supremacy by killing Ralph and destroying his tribe. His power-hunger triumphed over Ralph’s selfless desire to help all the boys on the island and ruined their potential friendship.
Cite this Lord of the Flies. Ralph and Jack
Lord of the Flies. Ralph and Jack. (2016, Oct 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/lord-of-the-flies-ralph-and-jack/