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 ofboys stranded on an isolated desert island. There is no figure ofauthority 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. Thereader is introduced to Jack near the end of the first chapter, as heleads the choir to the meeting. Jack is described as ‘the boy whocontrolled them’ before Golding even tells the reader his name. Theword ‘controlled’ hints that Jack is a dictator, as is shown later inthe novel.
The first real description of Jack links Jack to the devil, and alsoshows his temper,
‘Tall, thin and bony; and his hair was redaˆ¦turning or ready to turn toanger’
This hints that Jack will become savage later in the novel. He alsowears a black cape which is directly linked to death. Golding mentionsthat Jack is the Chapter Chorister for more than one reason. One ofthese reasons is to show that although Jack has experience at being aleader, he is still not chosen as Chief, but the other reason is toremind the reader that Jack not only is Jack part of the choir, buthead of the choir, and supposedly the closest to God on the island.This is ironic as the Choir become hunters, and should be rememberedwhen Jack eventually starts his own tribe, overpowering Ralph as Chiefand turning the island into a murderous, savage place. The fact thatit is the head of the choir that turns out to be the most savage showsthat even the most pure have t…
…dictatorship, as Hitler did. Jack works through fear anduses fear to control the others. Although he doesn’t actually believein 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 himthat leads the other boys into savagery. He comes up with the idea ofmasks, allowing the boys to hunt freely without feeling shame orguilt, and he creates his own tribe, feeling nothing when killingSimon, Piggy or attempting to kill Ralph. Jack shows what Ralph wouldand could have been if he had chosen savagery, and is so immersed insavagery by the end of the novel that he is ‘recognisable only by hisred hair and personality’. Jack shows the evil in mankind and whatmankind has the potential to be if aggression outbalances leadership,logic and compassion.