A detailed analysis of the character Jack Merridew.
Jack Merridew is considered the second in command, or the co-chief on the island. Even though he didn’t formally win the election for leader, he still has some authority and is put in charge of hunting. Jack is the choir leader at his school, and is used to having power, but when he loses the election he is devastated and his ego is crushed.
Jack is a tall, slender, and bony boy. He has very blue eyes that often appear as “angry eyes.” Jack has red hair and starts out the novel wearing a black cap, and thick black choir robes. The novel says that Jack’s face had freckles, and was ugly without silliness. As the story progresses Jack’s appearance starts to change. He takes off his choir robes, and cap, his hair grows longer, as does the rest of the boys on the island’s hair, and his clothes become ripped and frayed
Jack doesn’t like when people tell him that he is wrong or tell him what to do. This is why he develops such a strong dislike towards piggy. Even though Piggy is very smart and can offer up some great ideas Jack will always do whatever he wants to do, or disagree with whatever Piggy says.
Jack and the other choir boys are assigned hunting duty, and the duty of maintaining the fire. The fire’s purpose is so that passing ships might see the smoke and come rescue the boys. Hunting begins to turn Jack savage, and Jack neglects to maintain the fire, because he is focused on hunting. This is crucial to the story because Jack had let the fire burn out when a ship had passed by the island. Ralph begins to suspect that Jack may be becoming barbaric. Jack’s need to hunt and provide food causes all the boys to miss a chance at getting off the island.