W9, #6: WHY ARE THEY TREATING JACK LIKE A GOD?

Who: Periods 4 & 7 only

Set-Up: On page 149, Jack is described as being almost god-like:

“Before the party had started a great log and had been dragged into the center of the lawn and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol.  There were piles of meat on green leaves near him, and fruit, and coconut shells full of drink.”

Challenge: Answer the following questions:

  • Why do you think that the boys so easily a) were willing to follow Jack’s ideas/orders and b) began to treat him “like an idol” (or god) at this point in the story?
  • Does this say something about human beings in general or was this just a strange reaction on this one island?

Length: 5+ sentences

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21 responses to “W9, #6: WHY ARE THEY TREATING JACK LIKE A GOD?

  1. From the very beginnig Jack was the most dominate boy on the island. He strikes a fear in all the boys because he mentally and physically intimidates them. People are naturally afraid of people with power, so in this case they try to please him so he will not do harm to them. Piggy is a good example Jack will not leave him alone because he doesnt like him.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Yes, fear is central to J’s control.

    Why, however, does this lead to the idea of him being treated like a god? What do you think Golding is trying to tell us about human nature (when it comes to follower’s needs to do this)?

  2. The boys follow Jack so easily because he’s older, he has a general leadership quality, he was the first boy to leave Ralph, and Jack is really the only boy who has the ability to track pigs and get them meat. Jack is supposedly the second oldest boy on the island, if the boys aren’t following Ralph, they’re following Jack.

    Having been head choir boy, Jack is already authoritative and good at making quick decisions. Since he seems sure of every decision he makes the boys will feel confident in him. Jack was the first boy to leave Ralph, so the other boys probably assume he has some sort of plan about what to do or they like the idea of the things Jack promised them if they came with him. The main reason the boys listen to Jack is because Jack is really the only boy who has the skills to get meat for the other boys. They all help when they actually kill the pig but none of them could find the pigs without Jack. This is Jack’s ability that no body else has, and the other boys like to eat meat, and not just fruit.

    All these reasons combined are why the boys listen to Jack so easily, and the fact that he is the only one who can find meat is why they treat him like a god. The boys believe it is impossible for anyone else to learn to do what Jack does to find the meat. Jack gives them the “privilege” of meat. The boys want to please him so that he will give them (allow them to find) meat. This gives Jack a lot of leverage and power if the other boys are afraid of upsetting him.

    The fact that the boys are serving him in return for his talents is very common among human beings. Humans will always follow the person in power and help them to gain power in hopes that that person will give his followers special priviledges in return.

    A good example is the presidential race right now, the candidates have to make themselves seem as if each of them will the people more of what they want in return for votes. The people will side with the candidate they believe will help them out more, because they know (believe) if this candidate gets into power they will get what they want.

    ***

    Mr. Long: A key part of your answer (which was handled very nicely!):

    “This gives Jack a lot of leverage and power if the other boys are afraid of upsetting him.

    The fact that the boys are serving him in return for his talents is very common among human beings. Humans will always follow the person in power and help them to gain power in hopes that that person will give his followers special priviledges in return.”

    Thanks!

  3. Jack is the most confident of the boys, weaker people follow confidence like sheep following shepards. They don’t know what to do for themselves so they just hope that the person they follow will elp them. Also he does have talents that none of them seem to have, even though i’m not sure why he is the supposed best hunter except for his bloodthirsty nature I guess. But I think in general humans need a god or idol. You create an image of what the desired traits are so you can try to live up to those standards. It’s how society works. People need something to worship or revere at all times.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I’ll give you credit this time (because this is new having certain entries you can’t do)…but it clearly states at the beginning of the post that this is only for Periods 4 & 7. Please make sure that you notice this for all future entries you consider doing since I won’t be able to give you credit in the future for entries that are not for your period. Thanks for your understanding!

  4. The kids follow Jack so easily because not only has he led them and was a major leader throughout their time on the island, but he used fear to force the boys to follow him. Physically, Jack is now like a tribal hunter, cloaked, painted, and masked with a skull, that alone is scary in any situation. Jack is the head hunter so, if he abandons them, the beast will kill them all because without a leader, their moral will drop and they’ll scatter. Basically, this form of government that they used with one monarchy of some kind will fall without a leader. Now because he is the leader is the exact reason why is he considered god like to the kids. He has hunted with them and given them food, drinks, shelter and such, so he has shown them what he can do and that he surpasses their level of surviving ability. Because he has surpassed it, he is considered a god.

    Most human beings are followers. They want to fit in, if you are walk away from the group, you are considered an outcast. There are some groups people want to be in and out of, but in general everyone wants to be a part of something they’re familiar or feel comfortable with.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Interesting point about “followers”. Also appreciate this: “He has hunted with them and given them food, drinks, shelter and such, so he has shown them what he can do and that he surpasses their level of surviving ability. Because he has surpassed it, he is considered a god.”

  5. The boys treat Jack like a “Idol” and follow his commands because he uses fear to control them. He scares them into submission, he also manipulates there fear of the island to gain even more power and control. This worked because when you a young person and get scared anyone or anything that can be there to protect you becomes important. You then become dependent on this person or object to help solve any problem you have with fear. In this case it is Jack, he uses strength to win over most on the island because he will/can “protect” them.

    This reaction is not just on this island, think back to when you were a kid, back to win you got scared easily then put yourself on this island, or in a dark cave. You will be scared and when your parents are there you feal safe so the fear leaves, Jack is the parental character that calms and “comforts” them.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great line: “He scares them into submission, he also manipulates there fear of the island to gain even more power and control.” Also appreciate that you tied it back to our own childhood, too.

  6. The boys easliy follow Jack because Jack has power that shows he is dominate. Jack for one is really mean and critical. He treats the people he doesn’t like badly, and pushes them away. The people he does like are the people who follow him. So the choir boys listen to him, and follow his orders. In return Jack treats them nicely, otherwise they end up like Piggy. Also Jack can hunt, so that means that he can provide food. Everybody will probably follow him because he has food, but then as I said previously paragraph you have to be part of his group and listen to him. In a way humans usually act like this. They usually sacrifice their uniqueness to be well liked by others, and to earn certain benefits. This happens in some High Schools (our school has this and they cannot hide it), at home with the family(parents want you to become something that you are not interested in), and in the adult world (workaholics, or adults who do a job they don’t like usually forced by the family as said in the previous example). Its surprising to see a book that has some cryptic reality stories inside. Jack
    is a great example of leaders who have power that allows them to control the people.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Key point you made: “They usually sacrifice their uniqueness to be well liked by others, and to earn certain benefits.” And yes, I think many will agree that any organization or school sparks similar behaviors in a way.

  7. Jack is a threat to the other boys from many perspectives. He seems mentally superior because he is older, but he is also physically a threat. He is bigger, so they gravitate towards him and hope that by listening to him and doing what he says, he won’t hurt them. He uses his predetermined intimidation factor to get what he wants. It’s human nature to find someone to turn to in times of trouble and allow them to lead.

    ***

    Mr.Long: Logical: “He is bigger, so they gravitate towards him and hope that by listening to him and doing what he says, he won’t hurt them.”

  8. a) The boys seem to follow Jack so easily because he is willing to revolt and they become bored of Ralph. Being young boys they are never completely focused on someone like Ralph who attempts to be somewhat practical, but someone like Jack is interesting to them. Jack’s face paint and hunting chants draw the boys in and cause them to view hunting as a game and therefore fun. Because Ralph does not understand the boys’ need to hunt he is replaced in the boys’ minds by Jack who is considered a true “chief”. The boys youth causes their attention to move to Jack but also because they are humans they move towards the turmoil and the majority, which involves Jack
    b) Jack takes on a somewhat idol like form for the boys because he is the leader of the ceremonies. Jack led the killing of the mother pig, and encourages the killing of Simon all the while seeming genuine because he truly does believe he is doing what’s needed for the boys. Many boys worship him because he has become their leader and many worship him out of fear, due to Jack’s intimidating ways.
    c) This is not just an occurrence on the island this represents a trend in human nature. Individuals gravitate towards those who are interesting, exciting, and represent change as well as turmoil. This demonstrates that mankind follows the path that ensures danger and excitement whether through fear or admiration. Following this path relates directly to Golding’s underlined message that mankind is innately evil.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I’ll give you credit this time (because this is new having certain entries you can’t do)…but it clearly states at the beginning of the post that this is only for Periods 4 & 7. Please make sure that you notice this for all future entries you consider doing since I won’t be able to give you credit in the future for entries that are not for your period. Thanks for your understanding!

  9. The boys follow Jack so easily because they are intimidated by him. They see the power he has and that he can stand up to Ralph and build his own tribe. He is also the one who is best at hunting and who brings them meat.They also like that they don’t have to concentrate on being rescued like when they were with Ralph, but they can have more fun. He is an authority in their eyes who can hunt, make his own rules and who, that’s what they think, isn’t afraid of the beast and can protect them.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Key point re: Jack not being afraid of the beast. This is no small thing.

  10. These boys are young and insecure, but they still know trouble when they see it. Jack is leading them with more authority so far between him and Ralph, and they react to it. Hes gotten them more food, somewhere else to sleep at night and they’re dressed up in war paint and do dances which they think is fun. And as long as they’re on his good side, and do as he says, nothing bad should happen. This happens in all the time with people everywhere. When someone whos not afraid to stand out does something different and cool, you pull more towards that person and hang with them and stat to do what they do. They tell you to do something and you do it, out of fear of not being able to be around them anymore if you dont. Which is true, generally, especially if you’re starting to compete with others for the attention of being noticed. Jack has this power, and everyone on this islnad sees it, even Ralph. “Power lay in the brown swell of his forearms: authority sat on his shoulder and chatted in his ear like an ape.”(p.150). And sometimes when the powers in the wrong hands, nothing good comes from it.

  11. Jack gets treating like a god because he makes hunting sound interesting. Everybody wants the meat and he knows that. He is also the best hunter in the group. People will follow him because he can give them meat, and hunting is really more fun than keeping the fire. Everything is losing control and Jack gain more power than Ralph in this time. People want to join his group not only for meat. They also think Jack can protect them.

  12. There are many reasons why the boys listen to Jack so easily. First, Jack was the one and only boy who had the guts to break away from Ralph’s rule. Anyone who could do that was seen as a person to follow. Second, Jack’s idea of living on the island is more appealing to the rest of the boys. Remember, they are, at the oldest, twelve years old. Having fun in the woods hunting pigs and forming ceremonies where they dance around a fire seems to the rest of the boys more interesting than building shelters and a fire used solely for getting rescued. Collecting logs and being told to keep a fire is known to the boys as ‘work.’ Third, Jack himself is also able to control the boys better. He seems to know how to keep the boys loyal to him in many circumstances. Jack probably knows that there isn’t any beast, but the other boys, especially the littluns, believe that there is. Jack uses this to gain the appeal by forming a group that has a main goal of hunting the beast. The boys feel safer when they are more cautious about the beast and less cautious about making a fire, especially in a group. Jack has many traits that the boys like, causing many to break away from Ralph.

    The boys treat Jack like an idol because he was the one who broke away from Ralph. To the other boys, he was the one who allowed them to have their share of meat and ‘fun.’ Jack also has a type of control where everybody has to listen to him. He has seen to be able to kill pigs, and often does these ceremonies where he pretends a boy is a pig and start jabbing him. This evokes fear into the other boys, and Jack is seen as dangerous.

    Human beings, in general, like to be entertained more than to do work. If you’re washing dishes and the TV is on, it’s hard to take your eyes off that big explosion, right? Also, human beings see people who go up against powers that are seemingly impossible to beat as a very important person. A kid who has the guts to go against the school bully will probably be known across the playground fairly quickly. Using fear is a tool that can be used to make people listen. When humans are afraid, they don’t want the thing they’re afraid about to happen, and listening to that particular person will keep it from happening.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I’ll give you credit this time (because this is new having certain entries you can’t do)…but it clearly states at the beginning of the post that this is only for Periods 4 & 7. Please make sure that you notice this for all future entries you consider doing since I won’t be able to give you credit in the future for entries that are not for your period. Thanks for your understanding!

  13. Jack is the only boy who is a real leader (besides Ralph). I think the other boys treat him like a god because they’re afraid of him, and what he could do to them. This is a legitimate fear, so I think that, to express their gratitude in his not hurting them, they enjoy ‘pleasing’ him, a.k.a. worshipping him. They’re afraid of Roger, too, but Jack has more leadership qualities inside him, and is overall a more attractive person to follow. Thus, he is easier to worship. Jack is a fearless individual, and this is very appealing to young boys who despise fear. The boys want to stay close to Jack, because he will protect them.

    ***

    Mr. Long:
    I’ll give you credit this time (because this is new having certain entries you can’t do)…but it clearly states at the beginning of the post that this is only for Periods 4 & 7. Please make sure that you notice this for all future entries you consider doing since I won’t be able to give you credit in the future for entries that are not for your period. Thanks for your understanding!

  14. The reader from the beginning could already tell that Jack was going to be some type of leader. He just about resembles a dictator, and people fear dictators so all they can do is follow. He is one of the oldest which makes him more mature then the others. Throughout the book he looked down on the kids which put fear into them not wanting to anger him they listened and did what they were told. As he became a hunter they looked up to him like a god for bringing them meat instead of eating fruit. As jack gains power and gets people to follow him more and more kids are going to idol him wanting to be like him. He just about has total control, he doesnt care, but he does have rules to which the kids must follow or they would be punished.

  15. The boys easily obey Jack because it it is human nature to listen to leadership. The boys listen to Jack because he has authority, and he has authority because the boys listen to him. He is older, bigger, but more importantly he personifies the strong, savage hunter that is the ideal in the boys’ society. Jack is seen as almost god-like for two main reasons. One is he fear he commands. Yes, the boys fear what he would do to them if they disobey, but more than that, the fear he commands has created a sense of dazed wonder in their young minds. The second reason for his god-like treatment is that he is the leader, founder, and embodiment of the boys’ civilization; a powerful. The attitude of the children is typical not only of children, but of mankind as a whole. Humanity tends to obey authority, which is not the same thing as establishment, without question, and put leaders up on a pedestal.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I’ll give you credit this time (because this is new having certain entries you can’t do)…but it clearly states at the beginning of the post that this is only for Periods 4 & 7. Please make sure that you notice this for all future entries you consider doing since I won’t be able to give you credit in the future for entries that are not for your period. Thanks for your understanding!

  16. Jack is treated as if he is a god because he acts like one to them. He offers them protection and food. Being that Jack has the hunters he offers not only food but meat, what they really want. He protects them from the beast which haunts them as they live on the island. Although Jack seems like a good guy to them, like most politicians he only lets the good things become obvious to the public. He is covering up that he is a careless savage monster with a few good points. So he is only being treated as if he was a god because they really don’t know him, they just think they do.

  17. I think that a part of why the boys follow Jack’s ideas and orders is because they are intimidated by him. They are afraid that if they disobey or disagree with him, that they will get hurt in return. Also he is an older boy, and younger children tend to look up to older children. Also, he has convinced them that meat is a necessity of life. He convinced them this because he knows that that is the only way to maintain his importance. It says something about humans in general because all humans have this innate savagery, it just might not show.

  18. The boys just needed someone to follow, Jackl loked very good and like aq good leader. He was very dominant and never backed down and was very stubborn. The kids wanted to follow and plese him. He seemed to know what he was talking about and really knew what he was talking about with the hunting. THe kids also followed him just because he was a great hunter. People usually od that in general, they want someone to follow. Very few ever want to be the leader.

  19. Jack has set himself up to be treated like this from the beginning. He walked in with a confident attitude and followers. He is older which automatically made him a role model and he has no fear. Jack also is the only one with the ability to get meat. Jack has set it up to where the boys need to be dependent on him. With out Jack the littluns would be without food and lost. I also think that Jack is a leader out of fear vs. love. There are leaders that rule because everyone loves them, and there are leaders that rule because everyone is scared of that they would do if they didn’t listen to them. Jack is definitely leading the boys out of fear. He is rebellious and is willing to go against Ralph which makes him appear superior to the other boys even though he might not be right. Jack has also set his superiority up to seem like he can protect the littluns from the beast. Therefore another reason way the boys are tricked into following Jack. He has set up things to make it look like with out him they wouldn’t survive. The boys think they need Jack and that’s why they follow him. He’s set up a fake atmosphere to make him appear superior and mighty.

  20. Jack gives everyone what they want. He takes them hunting and gives them meat. Ralph wants fire so they can be rescued and wants to be sheltered. He is more sensible than Jack but Jack is more fun. Jack also is able to put some fear and respect into the kids because of his hunting skills. He was a leader before being on the island so he obviously has leadership abilities.

    I think this does say something about human beings. People tend to like the people that tell them what they like to hear which is what Jack is doing. Also in groups people wtart to think like the other people in their group.

  21. the reason why the boys choose to follow jack is becouse he is the more powerful at this time. what gives him his power is the fact that he has millitary control. this is a reflection on poeple in the world. poeple in the world tend to go where the power is. this is what allowed Hitler to be so succesful.

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