Jack Merridew

Jack Merridew

The chief conflict personage in the story of William Golding. He risked himself in the struggle for moral principles and evolution. The hero stands out among other boys with tall stature, thinness, and unattractiveness. He is the owner of red hair and freckles, which makes him even more noticeable.

His temper is characterized by a strong will and desire for power, which embodies a primitive instinct. Jack is selfish and cruel, resorting to violence on the way to achieve the purpose. He comes to real rage after losing an election, fighting against the status of a performer in the crew. His audacity and savagery find his followers who respect the hardness of nature.

At first, the hero complies with the standards of decency that he acquired during his studies. So, during a meeting with a pig, he refuses to stab it because of the rejection of murder. After the time, Jack becomes a fan of a bloody hunt, exposing his hobby with the corresponding drawings on his face. He resembles a primitive savage, who relies only on physical strength and dexterity. The increased level of cruelty facilitates control over the rest of the group.

The love of power allows the principal to rise above morality and become a true leader. He uses an animal fear to manipulate the persons’ minds. Here you may trace the influence of religious ideas on the individual. Jack has heightened awareness, the first to realize the absence of adults on the island. Experienced aggression causes him to change the ironed form to the Barbarian attire. Finally, the antagonist creates his own gang, entering into confrontation with the Ralph tribe.

The personage represents a dark side of civilization, which refused to dialogue in favor of their own arrogance. The situation is heating up after the murder of Piggy, turning into a real war. It is saved by the appearance of a naval officer returning the boys home. However, members of Jack’s band have awaited imprisonment. The hero personifies uncontrollable fears and human desires, manifested in extreme conditions.

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Jack Merridew Quotes

Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.


Fear can't hurt you any more than a dream. There aren't any beasts to be afraid of on this island . . . .Serve you right if something did get you, you useless lot of cry-babies!


We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English; and the English are the best at everything. So we've got to do the right things.


Well raid them and take fire. There must be four of you; Henry and you, Robert and Maurice. We'll put on paint and sneak up.


Well hunt. I'm going to be chief.

Jack Merridew in the Essays