The Effects of Group Influence in Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Call of the Wild by Jack London

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History has shown, that the right influence can make anyone do anything. Hitler was a powerful man, who was able to influence the citizens of a whole nation to turn against a single group. Before this movement, jews were a very large and successful group in Germany, and it’s just mind blowing to see all that success and acceptance, go down the drain by a single man and movement. The same happens in both Lord of the Flies, and Call of the Wild where group influence changed everyone.

Stranded from civilisation, the boys in Lord of the Flies come to forming two “political parties”, where each group had their proper beliefs and steps to survival. The more popular Jacks group, focused heavily on hunting, while the less popular Ralph’s group, had a more balanced approach to survival. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” Is what Jack’s group chanted during a hunt. “You and your blood Jack Meridew! You and your hunting! We might’ve gone home-” shows that Ralph didn’t agree with Jack’s decisions. More people chose to follow Jack because he seemed powerful, and just had the ability to influence most of the boys to work under him, instead of working with Ralph by using powerful words and slogans. The same method of influence was used in Call of the Wild.

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Call of the Wild takes place during the gold rush era, where ads and word of mouth promised riches in the northern, frozen tundra. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked over there, in search of a lifetime’s worth of happiness. “In the fall of 1897, when the Klondike Strike dragged men from all over the world into the frozen North” (p.3).

This was a time before personal automobiles, so dogs were illegally bought and traded for transportation purposes. This, however, led to dogs being treated unethically, as they were beaten, malnourished, and overworked. This was considered, by the majority, the normal way to treat dogs, which means the group dynamic was able to influence how dogs were treated. However, unlike Lord of the Flies, this was on a bigger scale of a world population, rather than just a bunch of kids on an island.

It’s a lot easier to influence a small group of people, hence why Jack’s strategy worked well into roping in more workers. He did this by saying powerful things, motivating them, and making himself look like the leader they need, but don’t deserve “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything.” In Call of the Wild, the news of the gold rush got to all areas of the world, and it influenced a lot of people to trek to the great white north. “In the fall of 1897, when the Klondike Strike dragged men from all over the world into the frozen North” (p.3).

However, people were only told about the gold and riches at the end, but not the treacherous, and often disappointing journey that leads to it. This included: limited gold (most of it was already gone by the time a lot of people arrived), and the dangerous journey in there (high climbs and deadly climates). Few stopped to think “hmmm, this may be too good to be true”, most just got up and left, because seeing a lot of their coworkers and friends leave for this, motivated them to leave as well.

The right words, the right motivation, and the right influence, can make anybody do anything. Looking back at history’s worst leaders, makes people wonder just how would someone elect someone like that? Those leaders all had one thing in common, they were very powerful, and motivational public speakers, who were able to convince the population that they were gonna make a real change. Jack was able to convince the island boys that he was gonna bring real change to their tropical live, that he was the right choice, the right leader. Whoever started the gold rush hype must’ve worded it really well to get the attention of many (then again, people will do a lot for gold). This really shows, just how important public speaking skills are.

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The Effects of Group Influence in Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Call of the Wild by Jack London. (2022, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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