Study Guide

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Chapter 3 Summary

By William Golding

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Lord of the Flies: Chapter 3 Summary

Huts on the Beach

  • Time passes. When Chapter 3 opens, we see Jack, his bare back a "mass of dark freckles and peeling sunburn." He's naked (what do you know) except for a pair of tattered shorts.
  • Slang alert: in British English, "shorts" means "underwear." So, he's wandering around in his boxer briefs.
  • Jack has become obsessed with killing a pig. Obsessed to the point of tracking down pig droppings.
  • Based on his sniffing the air all the time, it seems that Jack is now a lot like an animal himself, or at the least a primitive ("primitive") kind of man.
  • Jack fails to catch a pig, yet again.
  • He tries to take it out on someone else, meaning Ralph and Simon, who are trying to build shelters out of leaves.
  • It's not going so well, as you might have expected.
  • So Ralph and Jack do what they always do together: argue. Jack thinks it's more important to kill things, while Ralph thinks it's more important to not die of exposure.
  • (This is kind of like playing Civilization, where you can win either by killing everyone else, or by being the first civilization to become so scientifically advanced that you make it to space.)
  • Simon points out that everyone is still scared of the beastie, "As if it wasn't a good island." (But didn't Ralph say it was a "good island"? Twice?)
  • Jack, too, admits he gets a little scared when he's in the jungle alone.
  • Despite all this, Ralph is still mostly concerned with the fire.
  • Oh hey, says Jack. Maybe they could paint their faces!
  • Wait, what?
  • See, if they had painted faces, they could sneak up on the pigs while they're sleeping.
  • Oookay.
  • Piggy lies on his stomach and stares at the water. But he does point out that Simon is the one helpful guy, whenever he's not missing, which he tends to be quite frequently.
  • Camera swivel: now we're looking at Simon as he walks into the forest "with an air of purpose." We're told that his "bright eyes" made Ralph think he was "delightfully gay and wicked," when he's not at all. He is also tan, barefoot, and has "a coarse mop of black hair."
  • The littluns follow after him, and he helps them pick fruit too tall for them to reach before heading deeper into the jungle by himself.
  • Simon comes to a place where "the creepers had woven a great mat that hung at the side of an open space in the jungle."
  • He crawls inside this space (we cannot imagine why) and chills out there while evening approaches, musing non-specifically.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Chapter 3 Summary Study Group

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