The Lord of the Flies: Jack Merridew Character Analysis

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The novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is an adult novel set in the 1950’s during an atomic war. The lord of the flies is a novel with symbolism that makes the book how it is, as Golding constructed each of his characters though use of language features such as metaphors, modality, symbolism, similes, personification and emotive language. In this essay it will be discussed about how Jack Merridew was a savage killer and the symbol for aggression, power, dominance, and hedonism and most importantly, the main message, “Evil exists in all men who in the right circumstances are powerless to resist” in lord of the flies. Each paragraph will discuss another one of his character traits and how he was constructed.

In the early chapters of the book, Jacks intimidating personality is already starting to come out as he tries to dominate or intimidate the group of children on the island contrary to working with ralph to benefit it. This is shown in chapter ‘beast from water’, page 103 with the quote “So this a meeting to find out what’s what. I’ll tell you what’s what. You littluns started all this, with the fear talk. Beasts! Where from? Of course were frightened sometimes but we put up with being frightened” and “You don’t hunt or build or help- you’re a lot of cry-babies and sissies. That’s what.” Golding had used this essential moment to benefit the reader’s idea of Jacks intimating personality by showing that he doesn’t care about what he is doing if it’s not helping himself.

Jacks society is also probably a symbol for an authoritive regime not unlike the Holocaust with Jack being the symbol for Adolf Hitler and his hunters being similar to the Nazis. There are many times in the novel when certain events can be linked back to the dark times of WW2. Jack was shown to be a fantastic public speaker and convinced nearly everybody on the island that they were going to get what they needed when they desired it most (meat when they were on the verge of starvation etc.) and even at the end of the book when the boys are found by the naval officer after their close death on the island does jack return to his boy-like state, this could have possibly symbolised the collapse of Nazi Germany.

Golding also constructed Jacks character to be the symbol for aggression.


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The Lord of the Flies: Jack Merridew Character Analysis. (2020, Sep 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-lord-of-the-flies-jack-merridew/

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