AP Lang and Comp / Period 1
12 March 2013
Jack Gone Whack
In the novel The Lord of the Flies, William Golding, illustrates how easily the human nature can revert to uncivilized savagery. Because Jack Merridew is so obsessed in hunting “The Beast” he becomes consumed with tracking down this animal and goes to the greatest extent to find and kill it. Jack must keep up appearances with his band of choir boys turned hunters and he needs to prove he is a leader worth leading. Because he wants to show off to the younger boys and get meat, he gets further and further consumed with hunting the beast and won’t stop his madness until he kills it. Through the development of characterization Golding examines the savage tendencies of man. The symbols that signify the breakdown of civilized human nature is the horrifying killing of the beast and the bloodthirsty chant and dances. The character of Jack Merridew is the prime example of how easily human nature turning back to its animalistic behavior. Jack makes his first appearance as a harmless chorus boy claiming he should be chief due to the fact that “[he is] chapter chorister and head boy” he is also the only one “who can sing C sharp” (22). Jack appears first as a little boy with a pure heart and has not encountered any circumstances where he can display and nurture his uncivilized nature. In the beginning of the book. Jack only wants to hunt for fun and possibly some meat, but as the book progresses the fun and games of hunting turn to bloodlust and unstoppable hunger for blood. Jack is ecstatic when he kills the pig proudly exclaiming “[he] cut the pig’s throat” (69). All the boys are very happy reliving the horrifying killing of the pig while telling their hunt to Ralph. This shows that they are truly turning into savages because they take joy in how they killed something whereas before they would be ashamed and frightened by their behavior. Jack and his band of hunters are consumed...
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