Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What method does William Golding use to characterize Jack in Lord of the Flies?

Golding uses multiple methods to characterize Jack in Lord of the Flies, including direct and indirect characterization, dialogue, and the response of others. Direct characterization shows Jack's eyes were "ready to turn, to anger." Indirect characterization shows that Jack hunts and enjoys the kill. Characterizing Jack through dialogue includes his telling Piggy, “Shut up, Fatty.” Golding also shows how Ralph responds to Jacks's commanding presence.

Expert Answers info

Michelle Barry, M.B.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer, Professional Researcher

bookB.A. from Swarthmore College

bookM.B.A. from New York University


calendarEducator since 2019

write720 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

William Golding uses multiple methods to characterize Jack in Lord of the Flies, including direct and indirect characterization, dialogue, and the way other characters respond to Jack. Golding provides direct characterization by telling us about Jack’s physical attributes. We learn, for instance, that

he was tall, thin, and bony; and his hair was red...his face was... freckled.

We also learn about Jack's character in this same passage through direct characterization. His eyes were frustrated "and turning, or ready to turn, to anger." We get an immediate impression that Jack is quick to anger. Whereas the other boys are calmly trying to sort things out, he is already enraged.

Golding provides indirect characterization by showing us Jack’s actions. He hunts, he enjoys the thrill of the kill, and he is mean and malicious. Golding characterizes Jack through dialogue as well, which helps the reader understand what a cruel and ugly character he is. For example, at the very beginning of the story when...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 913 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial