Essay on The Effects of Emotions

Submitted By yhavryshchuk
Words: 876
Pages: 4

In both William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Jack Merridew and Abigail Williams are characters who allow base human emotions, specifically jealousy and vengeance, to take over their actions. This causes nothing but destruction to both the individuals and communities as wholes.
Jack is jealous of Ralph’s authority over the boys, and consequently tries his best to humiliate Ralph while bringing the other children under his command. During an argument, he states, “Ralph said my hunters are no good ... Ralph thinks you’re cowards” (Golding 117). Jack is accustomed to being ‘at the top.’ Throughout his life, people regard him as a leader. He was even head boy of the choir. With a character like Ralph now taking his place, Jack feels of less importance, and is jealous of Ralph’s standing on the island. He does and says anything to make the boy look bad in front of the others. Eventually, the children do join Jack’s side, causing conflict, and a major separation in the group. Jack disregards his morals, and teaches the rest of the small community on the island to do the same, leading to numerous fights, and even murder.
Jack does not handle himself well in situations potentially demeaning to him. As soon as he senses a threat, he defends himself in any way possible, usually by means of vengeance. Throughout the duration of their stay on the island, Piggy undermines Jack’s authority, doubting every idea that he possesses. He blames Jack from all the hunters’ faults, for example, “You and
Havryshchuk 1
your blood, Jack Merridew! You and your hunting! We might have gone home--” (Golding 65). Eventually, Jack gets fed up with Piggy’s constant negativity towards him, and decides to pursue vengeance for all the times that Piggy bashes and humiliates him. After the last episode of Piggy lashing out at Jack, he can no longer control himself, and simply abuses Piggy. “This from Piggy ... drove Jack to violence ... He took a step, and able at last to hit someone, stuck his fist into Piggy’s stomach ... His voice was viscous with humiliation” (Golding 65). Jack is clearly fed up with Piggy’s attempts at putting him to shame. His way of resolving the issue is pursuing vengeance; physically hurting Piggy. He knows that Piggy is weaker, and would not fight back. Jack’s irrational way of dealing with his own emotions leads to both him losing all the goodness within himself, and in due course, most of the murders on the island.
Similar to Jack’s jealousy, and desire for vengeance controls many of his actions, Abigail Williams is also driven by evil. Her refusal to accept defeat and loss is what destructs the community of Salem in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible.
Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor whom she is jealous of, of witchcraft. The practice is punished by hanging. Abigail refuses to believe that the married man does not want her, but his wife instead. She seeks revenge against Elizabeth whom she believes stole John from her. Even Elizabeth realizes this, and expresses her concern to John, “There be monstrous profit in it! She thinks to take my place John” (Miller 61). For the same reasons that Jack tries to take Ralph’s friends and supporters, out of envy and bitterness, Abigail attempts to alienate, and ‘get rid