Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are Jack's character traits in Lord of the Flies?

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Jack has several character traits that make him the main antagonist of Lord of the Flies. He is portrayed as vicious and arrogant from the start of the book, but when he receives the admiration of the other boys for his hunting prowess, it only inflates his already large ego. Jack becomes obsessed with hunting (even going so far as to threaten the other boys) because he recognizes that it impresses the younger children.

Jack's ambition and lust for power are also an important part of his character. The boys view Ralph as their leader, a fact that causes friction between him and Jack. Many of the things Jack does throughout the book are to position himself as the leader of the boys instead of Ralph.

Another important character trait for Jack is jealousy of Ralph tied up in his own insecurities. When the boys choose Ralph as their leader, it is clearly an affront to Jack, and his jealousy leads him to commit many of the heinous acts he performs later in the book.

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Jack is a jealous, violent individual who craves power and eventually usurps it from Ralph throughout the novel. He is also a skilled hunter who voices his displeasure about maintaining a signal fire, building shelters, and following rules. He is a selfish individual who continually argues with Piggy and neglects the littluns. Jack values barbarism over civilization and quits Ralph's group in order to start his own tribe at the other end of the island. Jack is also a tyrannical leader who encourages violence and savagery. As leader of this tribe, Jack manipulates the boys' fear by promulgating the belief in the beast and promoting violence. Jack leads his group of savages on several hunting expeditions, neglects the need for a signal fire, and punishes individuals who do not follow his commands. The threat of violence deters any dissenters and Jack eventually commands his hunters to kill Ralph. 

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