Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Chapter 4 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Ralph pushed Piggy to one side.
"I was chief, and you were going to do what I said." (4.132-133)
Uh oh. This is basically the equivalent of Ralph saying, "But it's not fair." If you have a sibling, you know how well that works. (Not at all.)
"I painted my face—I stole up. Now you eat—all of you—and I—" (4.191)
Jack yells this right after he throws a hunk of meat at Simon. (Gross.) And, you know? We love Ralph and all, but Jack isn't exactly wrong. He did get the meat, and it's a powerful sign of leadership. If this were a real island tribe, maybe Jack should be the leader. But it's not. It's a group of little boys whose priority really should be getting off the island—and that means the right man for the job is Ralph.
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.