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What Is the Importance of Jack's Character in Golding's Novel 'Lord Of The Flies'?

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Introduction

What Is the Importance of Jack's Character in Golding's Novel 'Lord Of The Flies'? Golding's novel 'Lord of the Flies' follows the story of a group of boys stranded on an isolated desert island. There is no figure of authority on the island and as their delicate sense of order fades, their behaviour stats to take on a more savage significance. At the beginning of the novel, Jack is the most obvious leader. The reader is introduced to Jack near the end of the first chapter, as he leads the choir to the meeting. Jack is described as 'the boy who controlled them' before Golding even tells the reader his name. The word 'controlled' hints that Jack is a dictator, as is shown later in the novel. The first real description of Jack links Jack to the devil, and also shows his temper, 'Tall, thin and bony; and his hair was red...turning or ready to turn to anger' This hints that Jack will become savage later in the novel. He also wears a black cape which is directly linked to death. Golding mentions that Jack is the Chapter Chorister for more than one reason. ...read more.

Middle

The buzz rose and died away' The boys are quiet when Jack uses violence, and this is reinforced later in the novel when Jack sets up his own tribe, using violence to make the savages obey him. Jack has a natural arrogance which is shown all the way through the novel, and he barks instructions at people instead of talking to them, and this is hinted at in the first chapter but emphasized at the end of the novel. Jack seems also to have an obsession to hunt, and this grows stronger after he is humiliated in the first chapter after being unable to kill the pig. Still conditioned by the society he was previously a part of, Jack couldn't bring himself to kill the pig. The importance of the first pig he kills shows that Jack has taken the first steps towards savagery: 'The enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood' The quote hints that once you have become savage, there is no going back, and this is true, which makes it more horrifying when Jack first kills. It also shows that Jack is becoming less attached to the sense of morality he once has, and to any societal norms. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Jack becomes angry, he uses violence as is shown when he hits Piggy and breaks his glasses in chapter four and then when he attacks Piggy again in chapter five. The novel expresses Golding's views of war, especially the Second World War, and Golding uses Jack to represent Adolf Hitler. Hitler is the most famous and most renowned dictator, and as the novel goes on, Jack enforces dictatorship, as Hitler did. Jack works through fear and uses fear to control the others. Although he doesn't actually believe in the beast himself, he uses it to make the others feel unsafe. Jack is the leader of anarchy on the island and it is initially him that leads the other boys into savagery. He comes up with the idea of masks, allowing the boys to hunt freely without feeling shame or guilt, and he creates his own tribe, feeling nothing when killing Simon, Piggy or attempting to kill Ralph. Jack shows what Ralph would and could have been if he had chosen savagery, and is so immersed in savagery by the end of the novel that he is 'recognisable only by his red hair and personality'. Jack shows the evil in mankind and what mankind has the potential to be if aggression outbalances leadership, logic and compassion. Lauren Atkinson ...read more.

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