To start with, the whole novel is based upon the confrontation of two central characters: Ralph, who was selected on the first general meeting as a leader, and Jack, a head boy of the choir (sooner – a group of hunters). In fact, Jack so upset by the fact that the boys did not choose him as their leader. He did his best to undermine Ralph’s authority in order to worsen his status among other boys. Eventually, he implemented his plan and gained his power over boys (not all of them, but of the majority, including all his partners in the choir) when the beast accidentally showed up. It is significant that Jack managed to use Ralph’s frustration and fear of the boys to plant a seed of doubt in their minds.
He was confident and straightforward, he demonstrated his fearless and decisive character in front of the boys. Since there were a lot of little boys there, it was not a complicated task for Roger to press them with his authority, although Ralph was an actual leader.Firstly, he diminished Ralph’s authority, saying “He’s like Piggy.
He says things like Piggy. He isn’t a proper chief” (181). At first glance, there was nothing serious in this scene.
However, though he did not get acknowledgment from other boys, he made them doubt, that Ralph was not as smart as he seemed. It was an invisible start of the riot initiated by Jack. More than that he tried to convince boys that there was no reason to listen to Ralph, as “He’s not a hunter… He just gives orders and expects people to obey for nothing”(182) At this very point, the reader can clearly see the priorities of the boys – Ralph wanted to keep the fire in order to be rescued while Jack considered hunting as the most important activity.
Meanwhile, Jack even raises the fear of the beast, stating that “The beast is a hunter”(181), in order to make boys realize, that Ralph was not able to protect them. However, all Jack’s attempts were a failure. The boys did not support him. So, Jack decided to leave the “Ralph’s lot”. However, his words affected some of his hunters, especially Roger, and they eventually created their own tribe with Jack as their chief.It is my strong opinion, that Jack was a great manipulator: he used fear of boys as a weapon against Ralph. Indeed, it is an effective way to override others, as there are two main ways to manipulate people – respect and fear.
Fear makes people act recklessly. Jack told the boys all they wanted to hear: he promised them safety if they worshipped that beast and made some gifts to it, and at the same time he encouraged their fear in order to make it easier to control the situation. Moreover, it is worth indicating that although Jack showed himself as a very violent boy who changed negatively after the beginning of the story, he possessed the qualities of the leader. All the manipulations were perfectly conducted and the results were achieved. The worst thing to realize is that if the adults did not come to the island and Ralph did not come across the officer, he would probably die.