Comparison of Hitler and Jack Merridew from Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a fascinating story that examines the darker side of human nature by exploring the cruelty and barbarism that exists in society. In the story, a group of boys finds themselves stranded on an island with no direction and has to do what they can to survive before they can be rescued. The boys are in categories of little ones and big ones with the first consisting of younger boys of around six and the second one consisting of slightly older boys between ten to twelve years of age. In the beginning of the story, the boys mimic the world they left behind and even elect a leader who is tasked with directing the activities of the group and establishing rules. However, the leadership of Ralph faces a major challenge from another boy called Jack who also has wants to lead. This is among many events in the story which can be compared to that of Germany during the reign of Hitler. In comparing these two, the character of Jack in the story appears similar to that of Hitler. This essay seeks to establish a comparison between Jack and Hitler by examining their traits.
Jack Merridew Character
Jack is portrayed as a strong character who is selfish and radical in his approach to issues. In the story, he represents the negative human traits such as cruelty, greed for power, and use of violence. From the beginning of the story, Jack’s desire and greed for power is revealed as he tries to incite the rest of the boys in the group to reject Ralph as their leader. This can be seen in the way he becomes furious after losing the elections to Ralph. He rebels against Ralph’s authority by exercising more freedom than he is supposed to as a subject in the group. At first, he tries to hold on to the morals instilled in him by society but with time, he turns away from his morals and turns to evil. His hunger for power makes him embrace violence, which in the end makes the others especially Simon to fear him. He starts hunting for a supposed beast without realizing that the evil beast was one of them. In a dream, Simon has a vision of the beast exclaiming, “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill.” It is then he realizes one of them is the beast he has been hunting.
Who was Hitler
Hitler was a politician and leader of the Nazi in Germany. He grew up a normal child but soon discovered the power of oratory skills, which made him one of the most influential leaders in Germany. His skills and greed for power made him adopt the use of violence and fear to control the German population. He defied authority and was jailed for a period before being released. Upon release, Hitler became even more influential as he spread propaganda in the country and got people to follow him. Eventually, he became responsible for carrying out the historical Holocaust. His spread of hate and fear led to an organized massacre of over six million Jews.
Hitler vs Jack Merridew
The use of violence, intimidation, and fear is among the major similarities between Jack and Hitler. In their quest for power, Hitler and Jack use fear, intimidation, and violence to gain power and maintaining it. Jack just like Hitler uses shows of violence and might to get the other boys to look at him as a figure of authority. Golding mentions, “The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.” For instance, Jack kills the sow to influence the boys to applaud him as a fearless leader and capable provider. Jack maximizes on this admiration and uses it to stamp his authority. Also, he employs the use of violence by stealing Peggy’s glasses then leads the group into praising this accomplishment.
In a similar manner, Hitler also employed the use of violence and fear to control the German people. His killing of opponents and violent reaction to known challenges instilled fear that enabled him to control the population. In this way, no one dared go against his authority even when there were others who did not agree. This is the same way no one dared question Jack even though there were others like Sanmeric who silently disapproved of him and felt more loyalty towards Ralph.
The natural uncivilized, cruel, and savage nature of man is established through Jack in the story just as can be seen through Hitler during his reign in Germany. Both characters quickly learn to control the masses through fear and intimidation in addition to the use of violence. The need for power and greed for authority explains the nature of man and the dark side of the human nature, which can be used in a negative way. Society, as seen through the story and through the actions of Jack as well as Hitler, has people who can be said to be naturally evil. This evil side can be nurtured and made into a tool of oppression and destruction.