So, today is catch up day, and that means instead of 1 page of Jack getting potentially, slowly, and painfully murdered by Rose, you get 3!
No, before you ask, Jack didn't just kill Rose and Rose didn't just kill Jack. One-shotting her would be too easy! You'll see what I mean on Monday, but for now, more insight into my thought process for making Jack into a damage sponge:
Jack is a likable protagonist. Whether you want to admit it or not, as the reader you've probably begun to understand by now that Jack's got more than just plot armor keeping him alive, he's got a fanbase armory at his disposal. I made Jack out to be cool, calm, collected until something scary happens. He's a hopeless goof when wandering around and a serious, determined man when he's on a mission. By having Jack get injured, I'm trying to make the readers feel afraid that Jack, the guy they've come to know and love, is on the edge of death. In almost all cases he won't die, but there's always that creeping possibility.
Now that Jack has Jill to defend, he's even more determined than he was when he was just looking for Atlas' family, which means he can take more blows before finally going down for the count. When you're on the edge of death in the real game, your vision will tint red, and your heart will beat in your ears, and Jack's shuddering breaths will try to place the same fear of death in you that I'm trying to convey with Jack right now.
By having Rose slice open his stomach and chest and face and his eye and strangle him, I'm reinforcing that this IS a violent game. In one playthrough, you ruthlessly murder splicers by the dozen, well into the hundreds of fatalities in many creative ways, in fact the game applauds you for it.
They're the bad guys. That's your only explanation. There's a bounty on your head and Ryan has sent the splicers out to keep you from getting to wherever it is he thinks you're going. Splicers are naturally murderous of course, but it all boils down to "They are bad, you are good, blast them and light them on fire and shock them and loot them". But to the splicer, you're the bad guy. All he wants is for you to die and leave him be, but instead of just passing by, you blast the splicer with your shotgun without giving it a second thought, and watch his health bar drain, and when he's ragdolled, you loot his corpse and move onto the next. A sad thing it is, but they're the established mooks, and you're the established protagonist, nothing can be done to get beyond that.