In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies the character by the name of Jack Merridew goes on a killing spree not only of swine, but also of his friends on the island. Jack’s primary motive throughout the vast majority of Lord of the Flies is to hunt anything that is not his fellow hunter. He also resists the leadership of Ralph, another boy on the island who is elected chief, throughout most of the novel. Once we do see him gain leadership it is very chaotic and sporadic in nature. Jack is the embodiment of chaos in Lord of the Flies.As soon as Jack is denied the original role of chief he is asked what he wants to do, to this he replies “‘Hunters'”(23), showing that he wanted to hunt and kill for meat from the beginning of the book.
After he has become a hunter he is solely focused on his hunting, so much so that he lets the signal fire go out so that he can kill a pig. He is so obsessed with hunting and the hunt that he goes as far as to say “‘The beast is a hunter'”(126). When he does end up becoming the main leader of the island society, it is very much hunting based, in chapter 9, when everyone kills Simon, that was Jack’s society attempting to hunt the beast. It is also hinted at very much by his chanting that he is drawn in by the feral nature of the hunt, thus not truly wishing for structure. Throughout the novel Jack consistently challenges Ralph’s leadership capabilities.
He complains during Ralph’s meetings about how Ralph is being too controlling of his hunters. He also does things that Ralph has either not given permission for, or things that he has clearly given explicit direction not to do, like letting the fire go out. When Ralph confronts Jack about these things, Jack complains even more. At the end of all of his complaining he finally challenges Ralph to the role of Chief by inquiring “‘Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t to be chief?’..
.’I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you'” (95). When Jack finally gains his following that he has been wanting for his leadership is very much chaotic and sporadic.
In chapter 9, when the boys hear Simon coming down the mountain, they automatically assume that it’s the beast just because that’s what Jack said. At that point Jack is fear mongering the other boys into stabbing anything that makes noise. Towards the end of the novel, when it seems that no one but Ralph is on his side, Sam’nEric tell him that they had “sharpened a stick on both ends” (148), again showing how Jack is making sporadic decisions. The sharpening of a stick on both ends, of course, relates to how they hunt Ralph towards the end of chapter 12. In the end, the only non-split-second decision that Jack makes in the book is to hunt Ralph.
Jack is the embodiment of chaos in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. He’s obsessed with the feral aspect of hunting, which ties into his leadership style. He challenges anyone who dares not give him absolute power, even those who were democratically elected over him. Once he does gain power it corrupts him, he fear mongers, and hunts people. He makes split-second decisions and is very chaotic in how he controls people.
Jack is truly chaos.