The Importance of Jack's Character in Golding's Novel Lord Of The Flies

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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
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He thinks he should be the Chief and dislikes Ralph from the beginning because he feels that Ralph took the power that should rightfully be his.

Ralph and Jack are very similar, and can be contrasted because they are both natural leaders. In a way, Ralph and Jack are the same person, but both have different priorities, and different leadership styles. Ralph is democratic and selfless, associated with order and control and tries to be fair. Jack, however, is a dictator, with a selfish leadership style, his priorities being only himself and hunting. Jack demands respect, whereas Ralph earns it. The point of this is to show that although two people may have the same qualities, the choices made by the people make a difference; it shows how the same person can turn out just because one chooses savagery and one chooses order and democracy. Ralph and Jack show the two kinds of mankind - good and evil.

Jack is the only boy whose last name we learn. This is because the choir call him 'Merridew' which shows that even at this point in the novel, Jack has authority and power. The fact that the choir use his last name is quite militaristic, but also is a way of Jack denying his identity and trying to make himself more powerful than he is. It is as though Jack does not want to be seen as a child, but as a figure of authority. This is also shown when Jack assumes he
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