Jack Merridew's Decline in Lord of the Flies Essay

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Civilization is the force that keeps us all in line. We are taught from an early age that if we break a rule, we are punished. Why? Because that’s how society works. What would happen, though, if we took away society, civilization, and punishment. Would we keep up the rules that had been etched into us since birth and keep living in a civilized manner? In Lord of the Flies, Golding explores this scenario. In his opinion, a person would abandon all ideas of society and revert into a savage, relying on primal instincts to survive. The main character that goes through this is Jack. Throughout the book, Jack goes from being a civilized choir boy to a savage tyrant.

In the beginning of the book a plane crashes onto an island and the
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He has them form a circle and then Jack finally makes his first kill. This greatly excites him and he returns hastily up the mountain to tell everyone about it, even saying a chant as the climb, “kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood”(69). Even when Ralph tells him about the ship, Jack is more interested in the pig and is mad that Ralph isn’t excited too. Jack is more interested in having fun than survival. He’s starting to lose his civilized self.

Jack continues to hunt as the book progresses, always wearing his face paint when he does this. The old Jack is dying away, being slowly replaced by a more savage person. He enjoys killing the pigs more and more, it’s like an itch he can’t scratch, or an addiction. Soon Jack is no longer content with being the lead hunter, he wants to rule the tribe by becoming Chief. During a meeting Jack declares that he’s sick of rules and is leaving the tribe. ”I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you” (127). He leaves that part of the island and almost all of the Biguns and some Littluns follow him shortly after, leaving Ralph deserted.

By now, Jack has lost almost half of his civilized self. He takes his hunters out and they find a group of pigs in a clearing. Out of all the pigs there, Jack chooses the one that has piglets nursing off of her. They all chase after her in a frenzy, shooting spears at the sow and yelling like savages. When they catch up

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