Jack Merridew: ESTP

Guest post by Andrew, ENTJ

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

Jack Merridew ESTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #ESTP

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Jack lives for thrills, especially ones involving violence.  Upon his arrival on the island, he immediately becomes the leader of a group of hunters, whose purpose is to provide meat for all the boys.  Eventually, he goes further than hunting pigs, picking fights with other boys, especially Ralph, to satisfy his craving for more and more exciting hunts.  He loves ceremonial expressions of his leadership; when he forms his own breakaway “tribe,” he insists that the boys under his rule call him “chief.”  Jack has no desire to leave the island; he prefers to stay in his little microcosm, where he is free to live as he pleases and have fun without regard to the future.  Jack always wants instant gratification; his initial attempt attempt to be elected chief is a crude, blunt, and transparent attempt to seize power.

lord_of_the_fliesIntroverted Thinking (Ti): Jack is not already a skilled hunter when he arrives on the island; he has to learn how to hunt from scratch, using trial and error, analyzing why his early hunts failed, and correcting his tactics and techniques accordingly.  In his hunting expeditions, Jack also goes exploring; he eventually becomes more familiar with the island than anyone else does.  At one point, he uses a logical corollary to his knowledge to argue against the presence of a “beast;” he hadn’t seen any beast while he was out hunting, so therefore, the beast must not exist.  Jack is the first and foremost boy to argue against the continued use of the conch to regulate discussions; his justification is that the boys don’t need any external device to regulate discourse, since it is now clear who should do the talking – though he does not share how he arrived at this conclusion.

Jack Merridew ESTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #ESTP

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Jack is a charismatic leader, mainly due to his ability to tap into the boys’ basest emotions: anger, bloodlust, excitement, and fear.  This last one is the most important: Jack plays on the fear of the beast to draw more and more boys out from under Ralph’s leadership and into his own court.  Eventually, he expands the fears of his minions beyond the fear of the beast; he starts having his subjects arbitrarily tied up and beaten, sending a clear message: the same thing can happen to anyone.

Jack Merridew ESTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #ESTP

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Jack has an overriding interest in hunting; he doesn’t really care much for anything else.  He hunts all day, every day, even when he is supposed to be tending the signal fire.  In time, Jack learns to strategize during hunts, to lure prey out of hiding, and to wait for the right moment to strike.  However, even though Jack can plan a hunt, he never considers what will happen afterward.  During his final hunt for Ralph, he and his followers set fire to a group a fruit trees which constitute a vital food source, which would have all but guaranteed everyone’s demise had the boys not been immediately rescued.


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