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Lord of the Flies Comparison/contrast Essay

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Lord of the Flies Comparison/contrast Essay

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a novel about a group of boys who are lost on a deserted island and must do what they can to survive. At the beginning of the novel, two of the boys, Ralph and Jack, become leaders. These differences will form the main conflict in the story. The differences will cause them to hate each other and the anger that results is a recurring part of the plot throughout the novel. These two boys can be compared by the way they change, the reason for their actions, and the way they use or abuse power.

Both of the boys change a lot during their stay on the island. Ralph begins the novel as a leader and role model to the other boys. But eventually, the group gives in to savage instincts and Ralph’s position as leader declines quickly as Jack’s position as leader rises. By the end of the novel, Ralph becomes the prey of Jack’s bloodthirsty group, and at the very end of the novel ‘“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy”(Golding 225) to show that he will never change, he has found the evil that lurks within all human beings. Jack on the other hand, became more of a savage person as the book progressed. For example, the first time he encounters a pig, he is unable to bring himself to kill it. But Jack soon becomes obsessed with hunting and devotes himself to the task, painting his face like a barbarian and giving himself over to bloodlust. After he first kills a pig “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away it’s life like a long satisfying drink,” (74). Showing that Jack’s obsession with hunting is due to the satisfaction it provides his primal instincts and has nothing to do with helping the group. Jack ordered that the boys put their head of the dead pig on a stick, but the boys follow him out of fear. Essentially, Ralph changes from leader to fugitive and Jack changes from choirboy to savage and leader.

Jack and Ralph were motivated for their actions in different ways. Ralph was motivated strictly by the hope of being rescued. Even though he called meetings and tried to organize the group of boys to do simple things like build huts or keep the fire going so they could be rescued or survive, the boys would go play or bathe. Ralph said to Jack ‘“And they keep running off, you remember the meeting? How everyone was going to work hard until the shelters were finished?” (51) The only person who would listen or work with Ralph was Simon. Unfortunately, the other boys continued to ignore Ralph’s leadership throughout the novel and eventually all turned to Jack for leadership. Jack was motivated by hunting and killing. His obsession for this began when he was frustrated with himself for not killing the pig in the first chapter: ‘“He snatched his knife out of the sheath and slammed it into a tree trunk. Next time there would be no mercy” (29).There would actually be no mercy

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