Character Summary of Jack Merridew in "Lord of the Flies"

The classic William Golding novel "Lord of the Flies" tells the fate of a group of young boys stranded on an island together after a plane crash. Two boys -- Ralph and Jack -- spend the majority of the novel engaged in a power struggle for control of the other boys and the island's resources. While Ralph represents order and structure, Jack is calculating, cruel and selfish.

Jack Merridew

The reader first meets choir leader Jack in an introduction to the group of boys, where Jack insists upon being called Merridew and immediately tags another character "Fatty," which shows his cruelty. Jack comes with a built-in group of boys to lead, and this begins the conflict with Ralph, whom the other boys choose as leader for the island. To appease Jack, Ralph allows him to continue to lead the choir. They become the hunters for the group, which gives Jack the ability to further develop into a calculating, destructive figure. In fact, Jack's focus throughout the novel is hunting. He eventually decides that he no longer wants to be part of the larger group at the climax of the novel. Jack spends the majority of the novel trying to gain and regain control of all the boys through manipulation. Eventually, his group starts a fire in an attempt to destroy Ralph.

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