The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What is making it difficult for Ralph and Jack to communicate and get along? Where do you think their differences will lead?

chapter 3

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The main focus of this short chapter is the developing conflict between Ralph and Jack. The two engage in a verbal argument that indicates that each character is clinging dogmatically to his own perspective. What is more, they represent opposing ideologies. While Ralph is dedicated to building shelters for the group, Jack is determined to become a successful hunter and establish himself as a lone hero among the group. Ralph's orientation is towards the group, while Jack is concerned with his own glory, which hinges again on militaristic values. Jack seeks to dominate and conquer nature through hunting and killing pigs, a goal that foreshadows the intensification of his violent impulses throughout the novel and further identifies him as a symbol for totalitarian, as opposed to democratic, political organization.

Their differences will lead them into chaos.