Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies Jack Quotes Page 5
“Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t to be chief?”
He looked expectantly at the boys ranged around, who had frozen. Under the palms there was deadly silence.
“Hands up?” said Jack strongly, “whoever wants Ralph not to be chief?”
The silence continued, breathless and heavy and full of shame. Slowly the red drained from Jack’s cheeks, then came back with a painful rush. He licked his lips and turned his head at an angle, so that his gaze avoided the embarrassment of linking with another’s eye.
“How many think –”
His voice trailed off. The hands that held the conch shook. He cleared his throat, and spoke loudly.
“All right then.”
He laid the conch with great care in the grass at his feet. The humiliating tears were running from the corner of each eye.
“I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you.” (8.67-75)
This quote actually causes us (the reader) to feel sorry for Jack. Passages like this are important to remind us that the boys really are young children: they get embarrassed, they cry, and they throw temper tantrums. When we are hit in the face with the boys’ humanity, we are that much more disturbed by the horrors that follow.
"Give me a drink."
Henry brought him a shell and he drank, watching Piggy and Ralph over the jagged rim. Power lay in the brown swell of his forearms: authority sat on his shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape. (9.52-54)
Ralph uses his power to build signal fires and try to get the littluns looked after; Jack uses it to have people fetch him drinks. Enough said.
Jack planned his new face. He made one cheek and one eye-socket white, then he rubbed red over the other half of his face and slashed a black bar of charcoal across from right ear to left jaw […]. "Samneric. Get me a coconut. An empty one."
He knelt, holding the shell of water […]. He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He spilt the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. (4.31-33)
Jack is as excited about his new identity as we are about getting a great new haircut. Sure, maybe he's just excited because it's a cultural taboo. Then again, maybe he's excited because he knows it's going to give him power over the others.