Jack Merridew Character Analysis

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Character Analysis: Jack Merridew Jack Merridew is introduced as the “choir leader” in chapter one of “Lord of the Flies”. Jack has a power demeanor which causes him to be intimidating and influential, instilling fear in the other children. Often in the novel, his desires to be in control and primitive behaviors are reflected in his actions on the island. Jack can be seen as Ralph’s antagonist which contributes to conflict on the island because he undermines Ralph’s authority and influences savage behaviors among the other boys. From the beginning of the novel Jack is introduced as intimidating and influential, “ Piggy asked no names. He was intimidated by this uniformed superiority and offhand authority in Merridew’s voice” (21). One…show more content…
‘All the same you need an army-for hunting. Hunting pigs-” (33). Although this is a small act, Jack not only shows a further desire to rule but also undermines Ralph’s authority by interrupting him while Ralph is addressing the other boys. He wants to make himself heard and he wants to be significant. He does this again when Ralph introduces the idea of making a fire, “ Jack clamored among them, the conch forgotten. ‘ Come on! Follow me’”(38)! Ralph’s intention was to make the fire so they could be seen, however Jack just enjoys leading the boys and making a wildfire. Jack seems to enjoy the destructiveness of the group of boys and the wild behavior. Jack challenges Ralph once more, “ Well we haven’t got any yet. And we want shelters. Besides your hunters came back hours ago. They’ve been swimming.’ ‘I went on’ said Jack. ‘ I let them go. I had to go on…” (51). Ralph keeps trying to lead and be efficient or at least contribute something to the island, while Jack does not help at all. Jack instead, becomes obsessive with meat and hunting, once again showing the darker and aggressive behaviors that Jack has. This also leads to Jack and Ralph clashing, contributing to the conflict once again. Later when the fire goes out, Jack acts dismissive, “ ‘ We can light the fire again. You should have been with us Ralph…” (69). Jack at this point shows his defiance to Ralph’s…show more content…
In chapter 2, Jack leads the boys in making a fire, “All at once the crown swayed to the island and was gone- following Jack” (40). Jack seems to love the idea of this huge wildfire and keeps building up, until the boys cannot contain it anymore. Jack leads the boys into this chaotic and impulsive behavior. The fire on the mountain was significant because it shows the destructiveness of Jack’s leadership. It also showed how Jack’s leadership lead them nowhere and was no help in actually starting the fire. Jack starts to develop this obsession with hunting and murdering a pig in chapter 3, “ At the length he let out his breath in long sigh and opened his eyes. They were bright blue, eyes that in this frustration seemed bolting and nearly mad” (48). However, his obsession with hunting is shown as early as chapter 2, “ But if there was a snake we’d hunt and kill it. We’re going to hunt pigs to get meat for everybody” (36). Jack’s influence is once again shown in chapter 4, “ Then Maurice pretended to be the pig and ran squealing to the center and the hunters, circling still, pretended to beat him. As they danced, as they sang. ‘ Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in” (75). After killing the pig, the boys start to display violent behaviors, similar to Jack. They also seem to enjoy killing the pig, as Jack did. Meanwhile, Ralph is

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