Lord Of the Flies Essay
In the novel Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, Jack Merridew is one of the many British boys stranded on an isolated island. Free from the rules and expectations that society has placed upon them, the boys gradually give in to their savage instincts. Throughout the novel, there is constant struggle for power between Ralph and Jack. Golding uses Jack’s role as a military dictator and religious leader to contrast the democratic characteristics of Ralph.
Jack has all the aspects of a military dictator. He wins the heart of his followers with promises of meat and “hunting every day” 73. Jack is able to become a dictator by providing the little ones with protection from the beast. The little ones respect Jack when they hear that he and his “hunters will protect (them) from the beast”(166). Jack becomes successful in gaining power because he rules by fear and with intimidation and brute force. Even the army of hunters fear Jack when he “beat Wilfred”(176) for no apparent reason. Although Jack’s irrational decisions appease the little ones, his actions hurt the boys’ chance of rescue. As time passes on the island, Jack’s own bloodlust prioritizes itself before the need to be rescued. In order to protect the little ones from the beast, he makes an offering “for the beast.”(151), creating the basis of a religion.
Similarly as to most religions which control its followers by fear, Jack uses the little one’s fear of the beast in order to accumulate power. Jack in a way becomes a religious leader when he offers “a gift”(151) to the beast. Jack knows that the little are terrified of the beast, and even though the little ones fear Jack as their leader, they entrust him because he keeps the beast away. Even though the beast does not exist, the fear in the little ones’ minds quickly leads them into believing “it’s real” (184). Jack is able to lead his tribe by both satisfying and terrifying the little ones. He is even able to lead the little ones...