Lord of the Flies - The Evil in Us All
“ ‘The choir belongs to you of course.’
‘They could be the army-.’
‘or hunters’” ( Lord of the Flies pg. 21 ).
That was Ralph’s big mistake, giving Jack that power and the right to be hunters. That
power led to the fall of their civilization and the take over of Jack’s savage tribe. There is
evil within everyone and everything, it is just a matter of whether or not you let it take
control of you. That is what The Lord of the Flies , a novel by William Golding, tries to
express. Through analyzing the character of Jack you can see how the savagery takes him
over little by little as he develops mentally, physically, and emotionally throughout the
Jack declined more than developed mentally throughout the book. “ ‘I ought to be
chief,’ said Jack with simple arrogance, ‘because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I
can sing a C sharp’” ( pg. 21 ). Jack was a normal young boy, maybe a bossy one, but
still a boy. “ ‘They hate you Ralph. They’re going to do you. They’re going to hunt you
tomorrow- Jack, the chief says it’s going to be dangerous, and to throw our spears like at
a pig’” ( pg. 172 ). Jack was a boy who became a savage beast. The more power Jack
gained over the other boys the less he cared about civilization, and the more he declined
mentally. What force could cause someone to hunt a fellow man like he was an animal?
As well as changing mentally Jack also changed physically.
“The creature was a party of boys, dressed in strangely eccentric clothing.
Shorts, shirts, and different garments they carried in their hands; but each boy
wore a square black cap with a silver badge on it. Their bodies, from throat to
ankle, were hidden by black cloaks which bore a long silver cross on the left
breast and each neck was finished off with a hambone frill” ( pg. 18 ).
That was Jacks appearance when he first arrived on the island. Not only was he dressed,
but quite fancily. “ ‘They’ll be painted! You know how it is.’ They understood only too
well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought.” ( pg. 157 ). Jack had
transformed into a painted naked savage. In one point of the book Ralph comments about
how he can not even remember what Jack looks like. How does one go from a
sophisticated English boy to being a dirty painted beast?
Jacks passions changed quite drastically. He started out by wanting power, to be
chief. Then his passion moved to killing a pig. Once he had killed a pig all of his attention
turned to killing. He went from wanting to kill pigs to needing to kill them. “Jack was on
top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife.-Then Jack found the throat and the hot
blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and
fulfilled upon her.” ( pg. 123 ). That is just one example of how Jack’s passions overtook
him. Eventually Jack’s passion went from killing pigs to killing people. He initiates the
killing of Simon, is involved in the death of Piggy, and plans the death of Ralph. What
could possibly drive a young boy to commit such acts?
When Golding wrote the character of Jack he was representing mankind as a
whole. The way Jack declined as a person is showing how people change when they are
in a situation like that. Some might say that Jack was only human, and he might be. But
being human comes with a lot of baggage, and you have to be able to control your
emotions. That is what drove Jack to do all of those horrific things. He could not control
the evil, the evil that is in us all.