Lord of the Flies Character Review of Jack Merridew

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.

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5 Comments
  1. Clinton X
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:39 am

    wow U Suck At This Mrs. Jensen My teacher Knows More Then You…

  2. pimpsinthecrib
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Read this instead you might like it better:

    Jack Merridew He was tall, thin, and bony, and his hair was red beneay the black cap. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. A cruel and ugly bully, he early develops a taste for violence. He is a leader of the choir at first, and then of the hunters. His leadership resides in his ability to threaten and frighten those under him. He is always ready for a fight. His victory over Piggy represents the triumph of violence over intellect, as he smashes one of the lenses of the fat boy’s glasses. The knife that he carries is a symbol of the death and destruction that accompany his every act. He does have some attractive qualities-bravery and resourcefulness. But these are easily hidden by his newly discovered wrath, envy, pride, hatred, and lust for blood. He is constantly attempting to weaken Ralph’s hold on the boys. He suggests opposite measures, he shouts abusively, he threatens, he is constantly demanding to be made chief. In all, he is a complete stranger to polite behavior. In his constant rivalry with Ralph, and in his constant preoccupation with killing, whether it be pigs or fellow human beings. He could always be found leading the boys into a chaos of brute activities. His egotistical outbursts and his temper tantrums suggest that he is immature in his social development. But as hunter and killer he is extremely precocious. The readiness with which he throws himself into the existence of a savage, as he pauses to sniff the air for scent, or falls to his knees to inspect the pig droppings, or runs naked and painted through the forest, suggests the flimsiness of the restraints and patterns of civilization in a personality in which the destructive passions flow strongly. If the novel is read as religious story, Jack emerges as an delegate of the Devil, enticing the other boys to sin. If the novel is read as a representation of Freudian (I’m Learning this in Psychology now) principles, Jack represents the primitive urges of the id. In the symbolic representation of the processes of life and death, Jack suggests, both in the black cloaks which he and his followers wear and in his association with darkness, the power of death. In his first appearance, coming out of the darkness of the forest to face Ralph, whom he cannot see because his back is to the sun, Jack represents the Satanic and deathly force coming to confront the divine and life giving man of light. The blood that he wallows in is a further representation of deathliness. When, after his first kill, Jack transferred the knife to his left hand and smudged blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair, he unconsciously imitates the ritual of the tribal initiation of the hunter, whose face is covered with the blood of his first kill. Finally, if the novel is read as the story of human civilization, Jack represents the influences of unreason and confusion and violence as they operate counter to the progress of human virtues and social institutions.

  3. shakalakababy
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    You suck, i love pimpsinthecribs essay wayyyy better.

  4. typo
    Posted November 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    suck it

  5. bob
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 4:54 am

    pimpsinthecrib, you should learn to site your resources. you stole that from another site. Don’t critize others then post someone else’s work.

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