In Lord of the Flies, once Jack realizes that Ralph is going to become chief, he totally changes and becomes the antagonist. First of all, Jack acts out on his jealousy by attempting to harm Ralph. Although Jacks scheme to kill Ralph is unsuccessful, Ralph is still very close to death. In the novel, the reader knows that Jack is plotting to kill Ralph because Samneric informs Ralph, Theyre going to hunt you tomorrow¦[Jack] sharpened a stick at both ends. When Samneric reports that Jack sharpened a stick at both ends, they imply that Jacks cult plans to decapitate Ralph and stick the prized possession on an end of the stick like it did to the sow.
Jack desires to use the head as an offering for the Beastie, a fictional monster that the boys believe haunts the island. As stated before, Jack decides to create a clan from his motivations that arise because of his jealousy. Moreover, since Jack knows that Ralph is always going to be elected chief no matter how many times the group of boys vote, Jack starts his own clan and elects himself as chief. When he does this, he openly tells his colleagues, Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too. By stating this, he is simply persuading people to support his feat. As Jack plans the death of Ralph, he does not feel any sense of remorse or guilt for plotting to kill his old friend. Jack is just excited that there will be a big hunt for Ralph.
Gene also transforms drastically in A Separate Peace after he realizes that he will never be as athletic as Finny. Finny has always been able to accomplish goals and achievements that no one else can reach. Furthermore, Gene becomes jealous. In response to his covetousness, Gene harms Finny by [taking] a step toward [Finny], and then [Genes] knees bent and [Gene] jounced the limb. Gene does this so quickly that he does not realize the consequences in jerking the tree limb. He does not know that his action would affect the rest of Finnys life. Unlike Jack though, Gene does not seek the support of his friends.
All Gene wants is for Finny to understand that Gene did not hurt Finny on purpose, and he is greatly sorry. However, when Gene attempts to explain this to Finny, Finny just brushes it off and tries to convince Gene otherwise. He says, I dont know, I must have just lost my balance. It must have been that¦I just fell. Another difference is that after Gene shakes the limb and makes Finny fall and break his leg, he feels guilty about his act of jealousy. Gene actually goes up to Finny numerous times to explain that Gene was actually the one who made Finny break his leg, but Finny does not listen. Finny just stubbornly sticks to his reason to [being] clumsy and not watching where [he] was stepping. Ultimately, Gene is immersed with sorrow and guilt. His envy for Finny not only backfires; it creates endless shame and remorse.
In the novels Lord of the Flies by William Golding and A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the main characters actions, motivations, and feelings are all outcomes of their jealousy towards another. Jack and Gene share the similarity of attempting to harm another due to their envious motivation. Yet, they are different as seen through their ultimate feelings. Both Jack and Gene aspire to become equal to their rivals, even if they must harm their friends to accomplish self-fulfillment. In the end, Gene suffers from guilt while Jack cannot be more pleased when his newly established clan obeys him to kill Ralph. Richard Griper says it best: Jealousy is nothing unless you act upon it.