RE: Lord of the Flies, answer questions
How are Ralph and Jack alike and different? How is each of them both an effective leader and an ineffective leader? What does each boy stand for? How do they change during the course of the book, and how do the changes in these two characters illustrate Golding’s themes?
Jack represents evil and violence, the dark side of human nature. A former choirmaster and “head boy” at his school, he arrived on the island having experienced some success in exerting control over others by dominating the choir with his militaristic attitude. He is eager to make rules and punish those who break them, although he consistently breaks them himself when he needs to further his own interests. Ralph who desires a constructive society, Jack prays on the boys’ destructive primal instincts. The boys want to be told what to do rather than simply pitch in together; they feel the need to live in fear under a leader that they perceive as a powerful protector. Ralph could never hope to hold this kind of unbreakable authority over the boys; as Jack’s influence over the boys grew, Ralph’s power waned and he lacked the ability to bring the island back to order.