.. eader to share. He is not as intellectual as Piggy and he is not as religious as Simon, but he dreams the dreams of freedom and adventure that enliven the progress of western society.
He is the most complete, most human, and most heroic of the characters in the novel, and the one with whom readers most readily identify. Jack Merridew: “He was tall, thin, and bony, and his hair was red beneath the black cap.His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness.
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” A cruel and ugly bully, he early develops a taste for violence. He is a leader of the choir at first, and then of the hunters. His leadership resides in his ability to threaten and frighten those under him. He is always ready for a fight.
His victory over Piggy represents the triumph of violence over intellect, as he smashes one of the lenses of the fat boy’s glasses.The knife that he carries is a symbol of the death and destruction that accompany his every act. He does have some attractive qualities-bravery and resourcefulness. But these are easily obscured by his wrath, envy, pride, hatred, and lust for blood. He is constantly attempting to weaken Ralph’s hold on the boys. He suggests opposite measures, he shouts abusively, he threatens, he is constantly demanding to be made chief.In all, he is a complete stranger to polite behavior. In his constant rivalry with Ralph, and in his constant preoccupation with killing, whether it be pigs or fellow human beings, he is a diabolical force, plunging the boys into a chaos of brute activities.
His egotistical outbursts and his temper tantrums suggest that he is immature in his social development. But as hunter and killer he is extremely precocious. The readiness with which he throws himself into the existence of a savage, as he pauses to sniff the air for scent, or falls to his knees to inspect the pig droppings, or runs naked and painted through the forest, suggests the flimsiness of the restraints and patterns of civilization in a personality in which the destructive passions flow strongly.If the novel is read as religious allegory, Jack emerges as an envoy of the Devil, enticing the other boys to sin. If the novel is read as a representation of Freudian principles, Jack represents the primitive urges of the id. In the symbolic representation of the processes of life and death, Jack suggests, both in the black cloaks which he and his followers wear and in his association with darkness, the power of death. In his first appearance, coming out of the “darkness of the forest” to face Ralph, whom he cannot see because his back is to the sun, Jack represents the Satanic and deathly force coming to confront the divine and life giving man of light.
The blood that he wallows in is a further representation of deathliness.When, after his first kill, “Jack transferred the knife to his left hand and smudged blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair,” he unconsciously imitates the ritual of the tribal initiation of the hunter, whose face is covered with the blood of his first kill. Finally, if the novel is read as the story of human civilization, Jack represents the influences of unreason and confusion and violence as they operate counter to the progress of human virtues and social institutions.
Piggy: This intellectual is an outsider. He manages for a time to have some influence on the group through Ralph, who recognizes his brilliance and puts into effect several of his suggestions. But, generally, the boys are quick to ridicule him for his fatness, asthma, and lack of physical skill.An orphan brought up under the care of an aunt, he has developed into a sissy. He cannot do anything for himself, whether it be to gather fruit, blow the conch shell, or build huts. He always tries to hide when the other boys are involved in manual labor.
At home, presumably, his favorite pastime would be sitting in a chair, reading. His frequent appeals to the adult world, and his attempt to model his behavior on that of teachers and other grown-ups evokes the contempt of the boys. Further, he makes the mistake of pressing too hard for acceptance.In his first appearance in Chapter 1, he attempts so diligently to win the favor or Ralph that he only alienates Ralph at the same time that he gives him personal information about himself that Ralph can then use to hurt him. His life on the island is a series of unhappy embarrassments, including being taunted by the boys, being beaten, and having his glasses broken and stolen. Finally, at the instigation of Jack, he is killed by Roger.
He represents an attitude of mind that is conservative and civilized. His eyeglasses, which are constantly steamed, and that he absolutely needs to see anything, separate him from the world of activity and adventure in which he cannot participate as freely as the other boys, and confine him to the realm of his own mind. Possibly because he is the bookish member of the group, he tends to be more scientific than the rest, and also more skeptical.
His knowledge of science is shown in his plan to build sundials. His skepticism keeps him from participating in the superstitions of the other boys. He knows that the world of adults and books would not abide the legend of the “beastie.” Piggy is necessarily more civilized than anyone else because, with his meager physical equipment, only in the most civilized of societies could he survive. Ironically, with his build, his nickname “Piggy,” and his squealing, he resembles the sacrificial pig. When he dies, his “arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig’s after it has been killed.
” His superior intellect is of little use to him in the later stages of the novel. In the increasingly more degenerate society of the boys, the intellectual is lowered to the status of the beast. Then he is sacrificed and symbolically eaten.I think these three characters are the most characteristic to the kids of nowadays. We can divide them into Ralphs, Jacks and Piggies. In conclusion I would like to say that I think this book is a must to read for every person to understand the essence of a human being.