Lord Of The Flies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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Evil Is As Evil Does Throughout literary history, authors have tried to explain or analogize events in history by writing poems, short stories, or even full length novels. They try to summarize different events by presenting reality in the form of analogies. The authors attempted to simplify historical events by presenting real people and things as fictional characters and objects. In the novel Lord of the Flies, ( written by William Golding), Jack represents the evil dictatorial- leader type character on the island.

Contrary to popular belief, most historical tragedies start out as a very minor problem. Jack follows this same pattern. His regression to something more primitive takes time. This is shown when it says, " Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking." (p. 23). This quote shows the fact that Jack and Ralph started out with a sort of friendship. They also seem to share a bond similar to that of two people vying for the same position.

However, their relationship takes a quick drop, as shown when it says, " He snatched his knife out of the sheath and slammed it into a tree trunk. Next time there would be no mercy. He looked round fiercely, daring them to contradict." (p. 31). This quote shows the fact that Jack appears to have a dormant aggressive side to him. This action, while just a display, also betrays the fact that he is not afraid to hurt people. Again, the relationship between Jack and the rest of the boys drops even more, as shown when it says, " Jack had to think for a moment before he could remember what rescue was." (p. 53). This quote shows that Jack could not care less about the welfare and safety of everyone on the island. It also shows that he was so intent on the kill, that he completely forgot about their only means of rescue. As the book progresses, Jack seems to continuously stoop lower and lower. He becomes obsessed with becoming the local leader.

Further in the book, Jack seems to dip the lowest possible mentality. He takes on the air of a dictatorial leader. This is shown when it says, " This generosity brought a spatter of applause from the boys, so that Jack grinned at them, then waved the conch for silence." (p. 43). This quote displays Jacks fondness of being the center of attention. He enjoys having their support, and tries to capture it early on. This quote also shows some dictatorial behavior- he makes promises he doesn't keep. More dictatorial behavior is shown when it says, " "˜ What does that mean but nightmares? Anyway, you didn't hunt or build or help- you're a lot of cry-babies and sissies. That's what. And as for the fear- you'll have to put up with that like the rest of us.' Ralph looked at Jack open-mouthed, but Jack took no notice." (p. 82). This quote displays clear dictatorial behavior- he belittles the ordinary people by downplaying their fears. This way, he gains the support of the majority, while leaving the minority open for ridicule. This quote also shows Jacks recently acquired disregard for the local authority figure. More dictatorial behavior is displayed when it says, " Jack checked, vaguely irritated by this irrelevance but too happy to let it worry him." (p. 69). This quote shows Jacks attitude towards the fire. He considers the fire to be a trivial concern- beneath him and his private priorities. He considers death more important than their only means of salvation. While Jack clearly has a natural ability to be an all powerful leader, that is not the worst thing that Jack represents.

While Jack represents many things, the main thing that he represents is evil, pure and simple. This is shown when it says, " He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up. "˜ I went on. I thought, by myself-' The madness came into his eyes again." (p. 51). This quote shows the obvious fact that he may be having a few mental issues to work out. Besides that, it also portrays his own obsession with death. He is completely consumed by a savage desire to destroy what was once sacred. Evil also motivates people to be the center of attention, which is shown when it says, " Before the party had started a great log had been dragged into the center of the lawn and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol" (p. 149). This quote shows Jacks powerful desire to be a centralized figure of authority. He wan absolute power over everyone just because he wants to be in control. He also expects everyone to accept his reign unquestioningly, and becomes irate when people follow their own will. This is shown when it says, " Jack spoke again, impatiently. "˜ Has everybody eaten as much as they want?' His tone conveyed a warning, given out of the pride of ownership, and the boys ate faster while there was still time" (p. 149). This quote displays his aggressive method of authority. He clearly expects everyone to follow his will to the fullest extent, and he becomes angry when he feels that his authority has been challenged by a subordinate figure.

As you have seen in the sections describing Jacks character and disposition, the Jack from Lord of the Flies represents the dictatorial leader Adolf Hitler, whose evil reign brought about the deaths of millions of innocent people. Jack shares many qualities with Hitler. For example, Hitler belittled the Jews of Germany, the minority at the time, and left them wide open to ridicule from their German neighbors. All in all, Jack completely fit the description of Adolf Hitler. Well, from an analogical point of view. He still lacks facial hair.