How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed?

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Philip Taylor 11F

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. Ralph is elected chief over Jack and Piggy. Jack, who was the most likely leader among all the boys, had a “blush of mortification” when Ralph was elected chief. Ralph sensed that he needed to appease Jack’s need for power and accomplished this by telling Jack, “The choir belongs to you.” Ralph seems to trust Jack and to show how amicable their relationship is he delegates power over the choir to Jack. There is a mutual respect between the two of them and Jack says that the choir will keep the signal fire burning and will also do the hunting for the group.

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        Another of Ralph’s first decisions as chief was to explore their surroundings to determine whether or not they were on an island. On this exploration the relationship differs little from when they first met due to the short space of time between the two activities. I think, though that Ralph has gained more respect for Jack and showed this by asking to accompany him on the exploration. Golding indicates that at this point in the story the three on the exploration, (Ralph, Jack and Simon) are still very much children from good, strict and civilised childhoods as they mock fight and ...

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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.