The Significance of Jack's Name in Lord of The Flies

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About this sample


Words: 477 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 477|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the character Jack Merridew plays a pivotal role in the descent into savagery on a deserted island. While the narrative explores the dark depths of human nature and the battle between civilization and primal instincts, the significance of Jack's name adds another layer of symbolism to the story. This essay will delve into the profound implications of Jack's name, examining its connection to power, dominance, and the erosion of morality.
Jack's name, derived from the Hebrew name "Yaakov," meaning supplanter or one who takes over, foreshadows his transformation from a disciplined choir leader to a ruthless dictator. This supplanting nature comes to the forefront as Jack challenges Ralph's authority and establishes his own tribe, cementing his desire for dominance. The biblical connotation of Jack's name aligns with the biblical allusions scattered throughout the novel, emphasizing the battle between good and evil.
Furthermore, Jack's surname, Merridew, holds significance in relation to his character development. The name can be interpreted as a combination of the words "merry" and "dew," implying an innocent and refreshing presence. However, as the story progresses, the connotation of Jack's name becomes ironic, as he descends into bloodlust and chaos. This irony speaks to the deceptive nature of appearances and the potential for evil lurking beneath seemingly innocent exteriors.
Jack's name also holds relevance in the context of his obsession with hunting and killing. The name "Jack" is often associated with hunting, as seen in the famous tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. In Lord of the Flies, Jack's insatiable desire for hunting and violence becomes a catalyst for the group's descent into savagery. The significance of his name reinforces the primal instincts that drive him towards power and destruction, blurring the lines between civilization and the wild.
In addition to its symbolic associations, Jack's name also carries social connotations. The name "Jack" is derived from the Middle English name "Jankin," which was often used to refer to a common man or a peasant. This ties into Jack's character as a representation of the common human psyche, stripped of societal constraints. Through Jack's actions, Golding highlights the potential for darkness that resides within every individual, regardless of their social status or background.
The significance of Jack's name in Lord of the Flies adds depth and complexity to the narrative, reinforcing the themes of power, dominance, and the erosion of morality. Through his name, Jack embodies the supplanting nature of human instincts, the deceptive nature of appearances, and the primal desires that drive individuals towards destruction. The exploration of Jack's name serves as a reminder of the fragility of civilization and the potential for darkness within us all. As readers, we are compelled to reflect on the implications of this symbolism and the importance of maintaining a balance between our innate instincts and societal norms.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Faber and Faber, 1954.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Significance of Jack’s Name in Lord of the Flies. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“The Significance of Jack’s Name in Lord of the Flies.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
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The Significance of Jack’s Name in Lord of the Flies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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