Lord of the Flies
Power Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
“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.
“I’m warning you. I’m going to get angry. D’you see? You’re not wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island! So don’t try it on, my poor misguided boy, or else–”
Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.
“–Or else,” said the Lord of the Flies, “we shall do you, see? Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See?” (8.345-349)
The Lord of the Flies derives power through intimidation.
"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.