Turning on those closest to us is a form of destructive behaviour as it always ends in devastation and loss of one’s self. Jack advocates for being a leader in the democratic leadership style they started with, but he begins to disagree with it and wants more power in the dictatorship leadership style he creates. Jack at first is very keen on surviving and is keen on doing the tasks to survive, but he begins to let his desires and lust to kill sidetrack him from helping the group survive. Jack forms his own tribe to spite Ralph and his leadership, in his tribe he focuses on encouraging savage, evil, and sadistic behaviour and gains his power through fear and promise of no order. Jack’s loss of identity contributes to the devastation that occurs on the island.
Jack strongly believes in the democratic leadership style the boys initially sought out for, but begins to become power hungry leading to his dictatorship to satisfy his crave for power. Jack agrees with Ralph on having order like they do in school, so when the idea of using the hands up to speak rule comes up Jack becomes excited. Jack enforces rules and threatens consequences for breaking them. While sitting on the platform having a discussion, Jack says “We’ll have rules!”… “Lots of rules!” (Golding 33). Jack is strict when he is in his leadership position and likes to be very organized. However, this becomes destructive when he doesn’t allow for the other boys to voice their opinions, since he wants full control over everyone and their actions. For example, when the choir boys first arrive on the platform, Jack tells them to stand on guard, in line,
and gives no regards to their protests of being hot. When one of the choir boys “flopped on his face in the sand and the line broke up.(…)” the boys “let him lie” due to Jack’s harsh commands (20). Jack demands his group to be professional and mature and only shows a form of empathy towards them, when they listen and follow his orders. This is a form of destructive behaviour because his need for control is of greater importance to him than empathy towards the boys, even when one of them is injured or ill. Jack is a good leader and can be very organized and disciplined, but many of these qualities he possess are used in a more destructive manner rather than constructive.
Jack is focused on surviving and is helpful on creating tasks to survive. Although, the temptations of his deepest desires, to kill, distract him from assisting the group in their tasks for survival. During the meeting when the boys are discussing their methods of survival, Jack brings up the idea that there is lots of food including pigs on the island. He then mentions to Ralph “all the same you need an army-for hunting. Hunting pigs.” (32). Jack’s idea to have an army to hunt for their food and protect them is a way to assist the group, however this method of survival becomes more self-serving since killing is a desire of Jack’s.
This becomes destructive rather than helpful when he becomes obsessed with hunting and killing pigs, which then prevents him from helping the boys with the other tasks they need to do to survive. Additionally, during a meeting, a littlun mentions a possible “beastie” in the forest to Jack, who states that there is no beastie and if there was one he would hunt it and kill it because he’s a hunter. When addressing the idea of a beastie, Jack humours the littlun’s fear by saying “If there was a snake we’d hunt it and kill it.” (36).
This is helpful at first because he reassures the littlun, but this too becomes destructive when he starts to believe that there is a beastie and becomes obsessed with it. Due to this obsession, he begins to offer the beast sacrifices. Jack is very resourceful when it comes to knowing how to survive, but he lets his selfish desires, like killing pigs, get in his way of helping the others. Moreover Jack’s offer to chase away the imaginary beastie for the littluns does more harm than good as he too falls under the childish fear of the imaginary beast.
After losing the vote for chief to Ralph, Jack decides to form his own tribe so that he can be his own chief. Jack’s tribe is focused on allowing uncivilized behaviour where he remains in power through intimidation, and the promise of endless fun in savagery. When Jack leads the first pig hunt as chief, with his new tribe, they come across a sow feeding her piglets and choose her as their next hunt. They then chase her down weapons in hand. Jack jumped on the sow “found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands (…) then grabbed Maurice and rubbed the stuff over his cheeks” (135). Jack proves himself to be a great hunter which quickly becomes destructive when he increasingly feels the need to be violent and sadistic towards his victims. Furthermore, Jack allows his need for power to feed into his bloodlust making him cruel and controlling as a leader. Jack is a dictator, since he gains and keeps his power through intimidation and fear.
Therefore, he needs to be in complete control of the entire tribe, meaning no one shall defy him or question him in any way. For example, Jack had his tribe members tie up and beat Wilfred for questioning and defying his orders. Jack and his new tribe hold their meetings in Castle Rock where the boys gather before him including the “newly beaten and untied Wilfred sniffling noisily in the background.” (160). Jack likes to have his tribe members well disciplined and obedient, but this is destructive when he has the members of the tribe turn against each other to do his bidding which shows the boys fear Jack’s wrath more than a beating and resent him for it.
Jack is even willing to go as far as to have them hurt and beat each other for his entertainment or personal gain. Jack, as a dictator, has become increasingly more destructive since he is using his power as a leader to create fear within the tribe. Jack uses his skill in hunting to kill in a sadistic manner and uses his influence against the group for personal gain.
Jack’s loss of self is a big source of destruction and devastation on the island. The loss of Jack’s identity is a result of how, when warranted, one can easily fall into savagery through temptation and desire. Jack is selfishly focused on his desire for power and to be the one dominant leader. His need for power becomes destructive to the group on the island as his lust for control and the boys’ need to survive become two conflicting forces. This novel demonstrates how a dictatorship will always end in destruction and devastation for everyone involved, since they will come to resent the selfishness of their self-serving dictator who thrives on fear.
Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 2003. Print.