In the novel Feral, Jack Bishop is the character most important to the book. He is the protagonist
and the central character in the story. His fight with the stray cats, who are the antagonists, is the
plot of the story. At first, Jack’s character appears “flat”. The stereotype of a writer who moves
to the country with his wife is predictable. However, as the story unfolds, his character becomes
“round”. He is complex, and has many traits. When he decides to leave his pet cat on the road to
become a stray, he justifies it by saying, “What else can we do? We sure can’t take her into town.
That would be awful. She’s a country cat. She’d die penned up in an apartment.”
The narration is done in Jack’s own words, the first-person point of view. As he begins to
describe the carnage the cats are doing to the animals in the area, he causes the story to become
more suspenseful. “It was a deer-a half-grown fawn. It lay on its side in the flattened rye with its
head wrenched back and its belly torn open and out. The smell was really putrid.”
The author uses the indirect method of characterization to reveal the nature of Jack. By
revealing the character’s thoughts, he allows the reader to draw his own conclusion about him:
I began to feel more than just tense. It was something much deeper than that.
I realized that I was afraid. I was here because I had to be here. I was here
because I wanted to be here. But I was afraid. I had been frightened before,
but this was different. This came from knowing. I knew too much, and also
not enough.
Finally, Jack’s character becomes dynamic after the police officer is killed by the cats. It
enrages him so, that he becomes a killer of cats:
I was still pounding with rage. There was no knowing how many cats I had
killed. It could have been five or ten or twenty. But I hadn’t killed enough.
I could never kill enough. I held on to my rage. I was afraid to let go. I
found another cartridge and reloaded the gun.