The novel Lord of the Flies written by William Gilding, and the film Shutter Island directed by Martin Crosses are both texts that contain antagonist characters with unique and similar qualities.
An antagonistic character is usually written to be driven by blind hate, but in these stories they have far more complex thought processes. Jack from Lord of the Flies and DRP. Called from Shutter Island are not evil, but are driven to cruel actions by power and circumstance. Both antagonists are comparable by means of their need for control, their relationship with the protagonists, and their attitudes towards death. The goals of the antagonists on the island are vastly different, but they both seem to have a taste for control.
Firstly, Jack Murdered is obsessed with being leader for the group of boys, because he is been used to being given leadership roles for seemingly no reason This is expressed when he insists n being chief based on irrelevant reasoning ought to be chief,’ said Jack with simple arrogance, ‘because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. Can sing C sharp” (Gilding 19). It already becomes painfully obvious that Jack demands the attention of the boys because he needs to feel in control.
This is part of his persona that could easily fit him into the mould of most antagonistic characters. When Jack starts to lose the boys’ attention, he reverts his strategy to say what they want to hear; “W?¬eve got to decide about being rescued ‘(Gilding 1 9), which attributes to his characteristics as a leader; eating the immediate needs of his society. Later in the novel when Jack can’t get anyone to vote Ralph an improper chief, storms off saying, “I’m going off to hunt by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too. (Gilding 140), which is significant because it means that Jack cannot stand being in a position without power. He runs off because he would rather lead a group of a few than be led by Ralph, or anyone at all. Contrastingly, there is no need for Called to defend his position as head of the island in Shutter Island, but it is evident that his need for control comes room the need to care for and protect his patients on the island. Such is expressed when Called retorts to Teddy’s crude commentary on Earache’s case; “It’s my job to treat my patients, not their victims. Ant help the victims. It’s the nature Of any life’s work that it have limits?that’s mine. I’m not here to judge. “(Shutter Island) This quote is Galleys way of saying he has an innate desire to protect, and subsequently, to control. This desire is exposed again when he insists that the 24 dangerous patients in Ward C should not be shackled because they would drown (Shutter Island). This is the first instance here the viewer sees that he is not evil, but merely an obstacle in Teddy’s investigation.
Since he argued against the other heads of the island and put himself up for disagreements, all because he could not stand the thought of losing his control over the protection of those patients. At the end of the movie, Called pulls out every tactic he has in order to bring Andrew back to sanity from his fantasy world. He finally puts it bluntly by saying; “The warden and the board of overseers are demanding that something be done. It’s been decided, that if we can’t bring you back to sanity now, right now, permanent assures will be taken to ensure you can’t hurt anyone ever again.
They’ll lobotomize you Andrew. Do you understand? ‘ ‘(Shutter Island) This relinquishes that Called is not in control of the decision that is being made in regards to Andrews lobotomy, and he is doing everything he can in order to get that control back. He is trying to bring Andrew back into reality so that he could go On without the operation. This is what Called would have decided, if he could make the decision on his own. Although Called is a more long-term leader than Jack, both are accustomed to being in a position of undisputed power, which is challenged by the protagonist in both stories.
Tying into that, the relationship with the protagonist and the antagonist in both tales starts out the same; they are supposedly on the same side, but they are wary and cautious around one another, each with an alpha male air that would be disastrous to disturb. Rally’s first impression of Jack is the powerful choir head boy. “He was intimidated by this uniformed superiority and the offhand authority in Merriness voice. “(Gilding 17). The words Gilding uses to describe Jack are completely intended to relay that Ralph will eventually go head-to-head with him.
It is important to remember that Jack is still only a child. When the assembly would not vote Ralph off his position as chief, Jack cries and isolates himself to the other side of the island (Gilding 140). This shows that Jack, however jealous he is, is not all evil. He could well have taken his anger out on Ralph physically and gotten into a violent fight, but he only felt pain and jealousy of Rally’s control over the boys: he simply ran off on his own. When Jack’s tribe grows and Ralph and Piggy visit them, he offers them to take part in their feast. Take them some meat. (Gilding 1 65) This demonstrates that Jack still has a level of respect for Ralph during the novel. He would feel success in leading his tribe if the other dominant male on the island were to join him. Similarly, Called holds a certain level of respect for Teddy, and offers him an invitation on their first night on the island. “I’m afraid I have evening rounds in the wards, but I’ll be having drinks and a cigar at my house around nine, if you’d like to drop Island).
This seemingly small invitation is actually allowing Teddy to see that Called respects him, and is willing to trust him to a degree. Galley’s relationship with Teddy is tense, but he gives off friendly words. This is further noted when Teddy and Chuck first arrive in Galleys office and Called offers Teddy an aspirin for his headache (Shutter Island). Called evidently cares about Teddy’s well-being and his physical health, despite Teddy having his guard up around him. This becomes even more evident when put into the context of the fact that Teddy is actually Andrew Ladies, a patient at the facility.
Called tried every treatment option he could; “l have to say, I’m not a fan of pharmacology, but in your case definitely see the need for it. (Shutter Island). This shows that the protagonist/antagonist relationship between them is a one-sided affection. Called cared about Andrew so deeply that he put aside his personal beliefs and gave him the medication which was best for him. Evidently, Called treats Andrew with much more concern than Jack does Ralph, and likewise Jack gives Ralph much more reverence than Called does Andrew. Called and Jack also share different views when treating the dead.
When Piggy is killed on Castle Rock, Jack is the first to speak, not of remorse, but of excited rage. “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I mean that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! “(Gilding 201) This is after Jack has completely become a savage; he no longer sees death as tragic and impact, but merely as a game for his bloodless. He had been living with Piggy on a stranded island for weeks, and did not give so much as a second thought when he was killed. After Simon is killed, Jack still tells his tribe that it was the beast. He came- disguised. He may come again even though we gave him the head of our kill to eat. “(Gilding 177) Jack is completely indifferent to the death of one of his win choir boys, and uses it as a tactic to keep control over the tribe. Jack’s attitude toward death really changes drastically versus the beginning of the novel, when he could not even bring himself to stab a single piglet; “They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood. (Gilding 29) Jack’s outlook to death goes from expected to completely monstrous and indifferent. Contrastingly, Called maintains his perspective through the entirety of Shutter Island. Again, the example of him not allowing he Ward C patients to drown (Shutter Island) can be used, this time to explain that he would do anything in his permissive power to stop a death from occurring on the island. Called is evidently uncomfortable when discussing Earache’s crimes with Teddy and Chuck. She killed all three of her children. “(Shutter Island) When Called says this, his voice falls in the room like stones dropping in a pond. This demonstrates that Called is still a little uncomfortable dealing with his patients’ pasts and all the deaths they have seen or caused. When Teddy is discussing with Called, he asks him why he peps referring to Rachel in past tense and Called replies “Look outside Marshal. Why do you think? “(Shutter Island).
This shows that Called would not even like to entertain the word “death” and relate it to one of his patients. This shows that Called has a genuinely good heart, unlike what would be expected from an antagonistic character. Called has distaste for death and maintains that, unlike Jack, who begins to revel in it. Although the antagonists of both stories vary greatly, they are most contrasting in the areas of their need for control, their relationship with the irritations, and their attitudes toward death.
Although they are indeed antagonists, neither Jack nor Called are pure evil, but they are comparable with each other just as much as the protagonists. In both Shutter Island and Lord of the Flies, the true enemy is revealed to be fear and denial inside the characters’ minds. This just goes to prove, no matter how spiteful a person may seem, they are almost certainly comparably better at heart.