Jim Vs. Jack Guyana Tragedy vs. Lord of the Flies

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There is a boy hunched over and crawling down the side of a mountain; he has an urgent message for his friends on the beach. It's dark and he sees only the shadows of his friends looming around the fire. When he finally stumbles onto the sand his friends circle him, but not to greet him. Someone throws a spear and he writhes in pain. "The beast!" he exclaims, but no one is listening. They keep attacking until his cries are no longer heard. This situation may be very entertaining when being read in a book like Golding's Lord of the Flies, but what if it were real? Lord of the Flies actually represents many things that really do happen, and many things that happened in The Guyana Tragedy.

In the book, the strong-willed co-leader is Jack Merridew. Jack leads his hunting team with good intentions of providing for the tribe.

Jim Jones of The Guyana Tragedy also originally had good intentions. Jim started out wanting to share Christianity with everyone equally. Although Jack and Jim began with good intentions, they soon started to gain some troubling characteristics. Jack becomes power hungry and is engrossed with hunting and killing the pigs on the island. Jim began to get power hungry as well. It seemed as if Jim no longer cared about the good of his people after being kicked out of the first Methodist church he led in Indiana. Although Jack has a distaste for authority and Jim loves it, both characters love twisting the rules to benefit themselves.

There is a very strong and distinct turning point in each story as well. The turning point for Jack in Lord of the Flies was the slaying of the pig. After this, Jack no longer possesses any civil characteristics. He loves the power of being able to take something's life even more than before. He becomes very insistent on loyalty. Jim seemed to change after visiting Father Divine. Jim took a group of young followers with him to see Father Divine. Not only did he return with Father Divine's worship songs, but also with his idea for the church. It was only after his meeting with Father divine that Jim began to insist that his followers be devoted to him as Jack did in Golding's book.

After this turning point, Jack becomes even more brutal than before. Anyone who threatens his authority or power is to be hunted down and killed. He uses scare tactics to scare his followers into fidelity. Jack's group makes two relocations during the book: one to Castle Rock, and one to the pig's head. Jim also relocated to Jonestown and he began to terrorize his followers with threats of death if they were disloyal. He enlisted a group of interrogators that would hunt down members of his church that left. The interrogators would torture these people and if they could not be convinced to come back to the church, they would often be killed. Jim eventually scared his followers into enough loyalty that they killed themselves by drinking cyanide laced kool-aid after he instructed them to do so.

Both Jim and Jack were powerful leaders. Even though they both started off with good intentions, the evil within began to take over when put in a situation where it could be cultivated. The similarities between the two leaders and their stories are examples of how frighteningly accurate William Golding's representations of the world in the Lord of the Flies really are.