CHAPTER 3 (Cliff Notes)
Jack, alone on a pig hunt, has clearly learned some tracking techniques. Frustrated that
his day’s hunt has ended yet again without a kill, he returns from the jungle to the area
where Ralph and Simon work on building shelters.
Ralph expresses his frustration: Although all the boys have agreed to help build shelters,
only Simon actually puts in the time and effort alongside Ralph. All the other boys are off
playing, bathing, or hunting with Jack, even though Jack and his hunters have failed so
far to produce meat. Ralph emphasizes the need for sturdy shelters, while Jack insists that
he and the other boys need meat and tries to explain his compulsion to hunt. This
difference—and the undercurrent of rancor—makes both boys uncomfortable given the
relationship that had sprung up between them on the first day’s exploring adventure.
Also in this chapter, a new side of Simon is revealed. He has a secret place in the jungle,
a sort of hut formed by vines, boulders, and trees. After helping Ralph with the shelters
all day, he sneaks off to this shelter, pausing first to help the littluns gather some choice
fruit and making sure that he hasn’t been followed.
Carrying a stick sharpened into a makeshift spear,
trails a pig through the thick
jungle, but it evades him. Irritated, he walks back to the beach, where he finds
at work building huts for the younger boys to live in. Ralph is irritated because the
huts keep falling down before they are completed and because, though the huts are vital
to the boys’ ability to live on the island, none of the other boys besides Simon will help
him. As Ralph and Simon work, most of the other boys splash about and play in the
lagoon. Ralph gripes that few of the boys are doing any work. He says that all the boys
act excited and energized by the plans they make at meetings, but none of them is willing
to work to make the plans successful. Ralph points out that Jack’s hunters have failed to
catch a single pig. Jack claims that although they have so far failed to bring down a pig,
they will soon have more success. Ralph also worries about the smaller children, many of
whom have nightmares and are unable to sleep. He tells Jack about his concerns, but
Jack, still trying to think of ways to kill a pig, is not interested in Ralph’s problems.
Ralph, annoyed that Jack, like all the other boys, is unwilling to work on the huts, implies
that Jack and the hunters are using their hunting duties as an excuse to avoid the real
work. Jack responds to Ralph’s complaints by commenting that the boys want meat. Jack
and Ralph continue to bicker and grow increasingly hostile toward each other. Hoping to
regain their sense of camaraderie, they go swimming together in the lagoon, but their
feelings of mutual dislike remain and fester.
In the meantime, Simon wanders through the jungle alone. He helps some of the younger