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Jack: Almost the Hero of Lord of the Flies

Jack: Almost the Hero of Lord of the Flies

Jack Merridew is the devil-like figure in the story, Lord of the Flies. Jack is wicked in nature having no feelings for any living creature. His appearance and behavior intimidates the others from their first encounter. The leading savage, Jack leans more towards hunting and killing and is the main reason behind the splitting of the boys. It has been said that Jack represents the evilness of human nature; but in the end, Jack is almost a hero. With his totalitarian leadership, he was able to organize the group of boys into a useful and productive society

From the beginning of the novel Jack intimidates the other boys with his flaming red hair, his long black cape, and the brutal way he shouts orders to his choir. Although he is not a good-looking boy, he is amazingly arrogant. He always has to look good in people’s eyes. Not that he cares if people like him, but more that they respect him. The only way he knows how to gain people’s admiration is by getting them to fear him. He spots Piggy as an easy target and immediately starts to humiliate him in front of the others: “You’re talking too much,” said Jack Merridew. “Shut up, Fatty.”(21) He sizes up Piggy right from the beginning knowing that Piggy wouldn’t stand up to him and by making fun of him he was letting the other boys know that he not one to be messed with. When he feels that people are about to think him to be weak or gutless, he uses his knife as if it were a symbol of his superiority: “Jack slammed his knife into a trunk and looked round challengingly”(33). His knife gives him power, a weapon that he would use against anyone who dares to mock him.

He shows early on how he has no sympathy for anyone. For example, when Simon passed out from heat exhaustion on the beach Jack showed no compassion: “Let him alone.He’s always throwing a faint.”(20) Simon was not a stranger, he was a boy that Jack has spent a great deal of time with and yet he displays no feelings for him at all. He demonstrates a great deal of power over his choir. He orders them around as if they were puppets that he controls by working their strings and making them dance at will.

Contrasting Ralph and Jack in Lord of the Flies

Contrasting Ralph and Jack in Lord of the Flies

Ralph and Jack are both powerful and meaningful characters in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. Ralph is an excellent leader; responsible, and stands for all that is good. Jack is a destructive hunter, selfish, and represents evil. These two main characters can be compared by the actions they take as leaders, their personalities, and what they symbolize in the story.

Ralph first takes on the position as leader at the beginning of the story, when the rest of the boys vote him in as chief. He carries this position until Jack and his fellow hunters break away from the group. Ralph makes it his job to set out the rules to organize a society. Ralph always thinks of what is best for everyone and how they will all benefit from his decisions. Rules and standards are set when Ralph is the chief. He orders the group to build the basic necessities of civilization, shelters, and most importantly to keep the fire going, in hope that they will be rescued and return to humanity. “But I tell you that smoke is more important than the pig, however often you kill one” (Golding 75). Jack, on the other hand, takes on the idea of every man for himself. He does not care about making homes, only about hunting. When Jack is the leader, evil takes over and all good is destroyed. Under Jack’s power both Simon and Piggy are killed.

Not only do the two character’s decisions clash so do their personalities. Ralph is caring and considerate, being kinder…

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2. While the body of your paper sticks to your thesis statement, it could be better organized. Since your organize your paper into three paragraphs, one concerning the boys’ leadership, another their personalities and another their symbolism, each paragraph should be organized in the same manner. If you discuss Ralph first in the first paragraph then you should begin with Ralph in the other two paragraphs. Also you should fully discuss each character before moving on to the other. Switching back and forth can become confusing.

3. The correct method for quoting is “The conch is gone” (Golding 200). Instead of, “The conch is gone (Golding 200).” The parentheses are considered a part of the last sentence but not a part of the quote itself, so it should be included into the punctuation but not the quotation marks.

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