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How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed?

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How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed? The relationship between Ralph and Jack starts on the beach when Ralph blows the conch and the choir, lead by Jack Merridew arrives. It progresses through the book with the election of a chief, an exploration of the island, a large assembly where a beast is introduced and the conflicts between the building of huts and the need to hunt. It causes divisions among the group that grow because of opinions and priorities and gets to a point where it is "snapped". The relationship between Ralph and Jack was that of honesty early in the book when Jack first enters the story he asks calmly, "Where's the man with the trumpet?" and finds Ralph and respects him because he had blown the conch, thus creating the new microcosm on the island. From the moment Golding introduces Jack into the group he portrays him as somebody who loves to be in control and to have power. The boys on the island attempt to bring order to the island and the new situation they are in by electing a chief. ...read more.


In one such assembly one of the littluns spoke to the group through Piggy and spoke of a beast that he saw creeping around in the night. Ralph tried to banish these ideas by claiming that there was no such beast on the island, only "in big countries, like Africa, or India." The talk of the beast was spreading fear and tension through the group and while Ralph was trying to expel the thoughts by saying, "There isn't a beast", Jack was encouraging the notion by saying that if there was a beast, "We'd kill it!" Later in the same assembly, Ralph uses his "new authority" to good effect when he changes the subject from the beast to rescue. It is his idea that they should have a signal fire for any passing ships to pick up on and then to rescue the boys from their tropical paradise island. Ralph decides to burn the fire on the mountain, at which point Jack takes things his own hands with shouts of "Come on, Follow me!" At this, the group completely ignore Ralph waving the conch and follow Jack up the mountain. ...read more.


The ship passed by and they were once again stuck on the island until the next opportunity arises. And because of Jack they didn't have a hope this time. Jack had taken Sam and Eric from the fireside so that his hunting party could form a full circle in which to trap and kill a pig for meat. This indicates that Jack thinks that savagery and hunting is more important than civilisation, huts and rescue. The tension between Jack and Ralph has now reached its climax and ends with them squaring up to fight. Ralph makes the group see that Jack was wrong to let the ship pass and so Jack attempts to win back favour by bullying Piggy who had now made his way up the mountain. Once Jack "stuck his fist into Piggy's stomach" whatever link was left in the relationship between Ralph and Jack, was "snapped". The relationship deteriorates because of Jack and his savageness, his selfishness and his greed for power, against Ralph's intelligence, hard work and ingenuity in trying to build a civilised and orderly environment for the boys to live in. These differences eventually broke the group in two. Philip Taylor 11F ...read more.

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There are some good and accurate points made about Jack and Ralph in this essay; however there is not enough exploration of the relationship they have with each other and how this relationship changes at key points in the novel. To develop the points made further evidence from the novel should be used and further analysis of Golding's language choices are necessary.

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 11/04/2013

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