Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It's weeks later. In the deep silence of the jungle, Jack tracks a pig and hurls his spear at it. As usual, he misses. Jack returns to the beach, frustrated and angry.
Jack becomes obsessed with killing a pig, but some shred of civilization still holds him back.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
On the beach, Ralph and Simon are building huts. Ralph is frustrated because only he and Simon are working on the huts, which are falling apart. He complains to Jack that everyone else is off playing or hunting.
Savagery confronts civilization: as Jack hunts, Ralph builds shelters. Note that only Simon helps Ralph build the huts.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Ralph's complaint offends Jack. Ralph points out that all the hunters except Jack came back hours ago, and are now swimming and playing. Jack tries to explain his obsession with catching and killing a pig, but can't find the words.
The instinct toward savagery cannot be conveyed in words. Language is a product of the civilization that Jack is abandoning.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Ralph and Jack argue whether hunting is as important as building shelters.
Savagery again clashes with civilization.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
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Ralph says they need shelters because many of the boys are scared. Simon observes that it is as if the island is bad, not the good island Ralph described in Chapter 2. Jack agrees. While hunting in the jungle, he says, he often feels like he's the one who's being hunted.
Simon's sense of the island is mystical, as if it's haunted. Jack, a hunter, feels hunted himself. But the boys have yet to figure out what is haunting the island.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Ralph puts the focus of the conversation back on getting rescued. He mentions Jack and the hunter's responsibility for the fire, which causes another argument. Jack claims hunting is work. Ralph shouts that while Jack likes hunting, he's stuck building shelters for the good of everyone, not for pleasure. They go for a swim that just barely manages to cool down their anger.
Civilized Ralph builds shelters out of necessity. Civilization suppresses the desire to "have fun" by making people feel shame for not acting responsibly. Successful societies suppress the beast, but never destroy it.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Simon slips away into the forest. He helps some of the younger boys gather fruit, then finds a beautiful glade hidden by creeper vines. He sneaks inside and contemplates the island's sights and sounds in a kind of spiritual meditation.
Unlike the civilized Ralph, Simon enjoys building shelters. Unlike the savage Jack, Simon is perfectly comfortable and unafraid in the jungle.
Themes
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon