Lord Of The Flies Jack Merridew Character Analysis

1578 Words7 Pages
From Innocence to Murder
“The Lord of the Flies”, a novel written by William Golding, tells the story of a group of young boys who crash on a deserted island and must learn to survive. Among these boys, a potential chief and future antagonist, Jack Merridew, stands tall and civil, like a general leading his men into war. The novel begins with him running against Ralph for a cherished leadership position; however, the boys elect Ralph, the blower of the conch shell, over him. After this defeat, Jack begins to dive into the life of a hunter, and over time, loses his identity to the primal instincts inside every human being. Jack Merridew, the main antagonist in “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, is a dynamic character who starts as a
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While talking to Ralph about the littluns and the beast, after returning from hunting, the narrator implies that Jack slowly begins to forget about civilization by stating, “Jack had to think for a moment before he could remember what rescue was,” (Golding 53). This line from the text shows the reader that Jack is losing sight of his old life and the dangers of living on an island without adults. By focusing solely on hunting with his choir, the possibility of rescue and home escape his mind, and he begins to believe the island stands as a long-term home. While Piggy and Ralph try to sustain a fire and find rescue, Jack hunts animals, and gathers other necessities, so that the boys may inhabit the island. He slowly becomes less aware of the rules, and, over time, cares less and less about the tribe and the chief. At one community meeting, after arguing with Ralph about the importance of hunting and rule following, Jack attacks Ralph, screaming, “‘Bollock to the rules! We’re strong - we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat - !” (Golding 91). Through this line, Golding emphasizes the hold hunting has taken on Jack, and the emotional state that is slowly driving him insane. Jack longs to rebel from the rules, and he thinks that hunting can solve every problem on the island. He is no longer a civil, young boy, but rather,…show more content…
He is cruel, aggressive, and relentless, and he will stop at nothing to become a dictator over his tribe. After him and his followers split off from Piggy and Ralph, his dominant traits become overbearing, resulting in the death of other boys on the island. One day, after a turbulent storm begins to sweep the island, Jack calls together his tribe. They notice a beast in the distance, who they think the storm scared out of hiding, and they surround it, chanting, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” (Golding 152). This terrifying chant shows the boy’s primitive instincts, especially Jack’s, who ordered them to shout. Instead of checking on the moving object, he instantly assumes it is a dangerous ‘beast.’ On the next page, Golding states, “Even in the rain they could see how small a beast it was; and already its blood was staining the sand,” (Golding 153). This line informs the reader that the ‘beast’ murdered by the boys is really Simon, another boy on the island. During that night, the boys, led by Jack, act merciless, and they do not stop attacking Simon until he is dead. Jack no longer follows civilized rules, and he essentially encourages murder, as well as whatever it takes to stay alive. This same behavior is seen after Roger kills Piggy with a rolling rock. Instead of mourning Piggy’s
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