No matter what culture one studies, or what part of the world one observes, one will find that it is a part of human nature to accumulate as much power as possible. This concept of power is an important component of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, where there are boys stranded on an island and try to co-exist with each other when a division in society occurs and there begins to be a battle for social status. At the beginning of the novel, the boys conduct a vote as to who should be their selected leader. When Ralph is chosen over Jack, Jack then begins his attempt to regain the leadership role he once had with his choir group. He quickly becomes a savage and will do anything to achieve his ultimate goal of head boy and ruler of the island. Throughout the course of the novel, Jack’s tribe attains supremacy over Ralph’s society because he sabotages Ralph’s credibility and regulations, and assumes essential obligations, and most importantly, he intimidates the schoolboys.
Jack Merridew gains a large amount of his power on the island simply by sabotaging Ralph’s credibility and rules. Initially, during an assembly that takes place on the beach of the island, Jack attempts to get rid of the idea that the conch is needed as well as the importance of freedom of speech. He protests to Ralph and the group of boys, “Conch! Conch! We don’t need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things. What good did Simon do speaking, or Bill, or Walter? It’s time some people know to keep quiet and leave deciding things to the rest of us” (Golding 111). The above quotation clearly shows that Jack makes Ralph and his rules seem needless and senseless. This makes the boys question Ralph’s authority and way of thinking. Additionally, Merridew gets the children to believe Ralph is an untrustworthy person who they cannot expect to be a good leader. He manages to do this during an assembly where the two groups clearly begin to divide.