Evolution of Jack's Character Depicted in Golding's Novel, The Lord of the Flies

Evolution of Jack's Character Depicted in Golding's Novel, The Lord of the Flies

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William Golding’s novel ‘The Lord of The Flies’ tells the story of a group of English boys isolated on a desert island, left to attempt to retain civilisation. In the novel, Golding shows one of the boys, Jack, to change significantly. At the beginning of the book, Jack’s character desires power and although he does not immediately get it, he retains the values of civilized behaviour. However, as the story proceeds, his character becomes more savage, leaving behind the values of society. Jack uses fear of the beast to control the other boys and he changes to become the book’s representation of savagery, violence and domination. He is first taken over with an obsession to hunt, which leads to a change in his physical appearance This change of character is significant as he leads the other boys into savagery, representing Golding’s views of there being a bad and unforgiving nature to every human.

In the novel, “The Lord of the Flies”, the reader can see the change in Jack’s character as his obsession to hunt grows. As the leader, Ralph gives Jack and his choirboys the responsibility to hunt for food for the rest of the group. We see that in Jack’s first attempt to hunt, civilisation is holding him back so he does not hold the ability to slaughter the pig. This is shown where it says, “They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh, because of the unbearable blood.”. However, we see that his nature changes and soon his preoccupation with hunting increases dramatically. At the beginning of Chapter three, Golding portrays Jack to have animal-like traits such as “flared nostrils” and describes him as “dog-like” and “ape-like”. It can therefore be interpreted that Jac...


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...e and begins a wild chant, dancing around a fire. Towards the end of the book, the reader can fully see Jack’s brutal and savage nature as he orders a fire to kill Ralph. This extreme growth in Jack’s sinister side is very significant as this is what gives him the ability to have control over the group. It is also important as Golding is showing that human nature can be unforgiving and that there is a good and bad side to everyone.

In conclusion, we can see how Jack’s character changes through the novel and why this is so significant. Without these changes, Jack would not have been able to gain power over the boys and influence them into becoming more savage similarly to him. It is also very important that Jack’s character changes as Golding is able to show that he completely regresses from civilisation which represents that all humans can become savage and evil.

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