William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies is an allegory used by the author to demonstrate the instinctive evil within all of humanity. A group of British schoolboys are in a plane crash, and left stranded on a deserted island with no adult help. The boys attempt to create their own civilization, but it fails when certain members of the group let their dark sides take over. There are many intriguing characters among the schoolboys. Some of the characters include the leader, Ralph; the intellectual outcast, Piggy; and the religious mystic, Simon. William Golding creates the memorable character of Jack Merridew in The Lord of the Flies through the characteristics of, being a hunter, being a dictator and being hungry for power. In the beginning of The Lord of the Flies, when we are introduced to Jack, he chooses to be a hunter, but throughout the novel his want to hunt becomes a desperate yearning to kill. Jack’s first desire to hunt starts with the need for meat, but as he hunts, the savage inside of him starts to come out. When confronted with his first opportunity to kill a pig, he hesitates. He tells the other boys he was deciding where to cut but in reality “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 (Golding 31).”
In the beginning, Jack fears killing, as he develops as a hunter, his personality develops with him. As Jack starts painting his face, and hunting more often, his hunting becomes something he needs. “He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up (51).” Jack’s innocent hunts for meat are gone, and it’s become a sadistic ritual for him. He is a hunter, and wants to kill. Jack is the antagonistic version of Ralph. They both have many of the same characteristics; however there is one extreme difference. Where Ralph rules as a democratic leader, Jack chooses to be a dictator. Jack shows that democracy has not value to him when he’s talking o Ralph and says “And you shut up! Who … are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing –” “I’m chief. I was chosen.” “Why should choosing make any difference? …” (238-241).” A former choirmaster and “head boy” at his school, Jack came to the island having experienced exerting control over others by dominating the choir with his militaristic attitude. He is eager to make rules and punish those who break them.
When Jack creates his “tribe” on the island he rules them brutally, and wields complete authority. He creates a complete dictatorship, with him at the head of it, being looked to like some sort of idol. From the first time that we see Jack in the book, we know he is power hungry. He says “I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp(22) .” He thinks he should be the leader from the start, and when the boys chose Ralph over him it makes him even more power hungry. Jack and Ralph become locked in a battle. While Ralph tries to maintain order and the attempts of rescue, Jacks insists that hunting is what’s important and offers boys meat to join his tribe. He tells them ” ’I’m going off by myself.
He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too’ (158).” Once the most of the boys join Jack’s tribe, he feels he can control the rest. His tribe kills Piggy, and kidnaps SamnEric, so all that’s left is the former leader Ralph. Jack’s resentment for Ralph grows to the point where he thinks he needs to kill him. He wants all the power, and anyone who could challenge him needed to die. When the boys first arrived on the island, Jack was an innocent child, who liked control. He was a hunter. However, his desire to hunt for the boys slowly changed from the goal of meat to the satisfaction of the kill. Throughout the novel he transformed into a power hungry savage, whose thirst for power could not be held back. Jack was a power hungry dictator. In the end he transformed into a true savage “[Jack] began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling ( ).” He let the devil inside of him take control. Jack became the beast.