What happened in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies? (Summary)

What happened in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies

What happened in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies? In this pivotal chapter called “Huts on the Beach”, the boys’ struggle to maintain order and a sense of civilization on the deserted island intensifies. Jack’s unsuccessful attempt to kill a pig sparks tensions within the group. At the same time, Ralph becomes increasingly frustrated by the lack of cooperation in building shelters. Amidst these growing conflicts, one enigmatic character, Simon, ventures off alone toward an unknown destination deep within the forest. Chapter 3 sets the stage for mounting chaos and reveals unexpected alliances and divisions among the young survivors in William Golding’s classic novel.

What happened in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies? (Chapter 3 summary and analysis)

What happened in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies? In summary, Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies delves deeper into the dark and primal nature that lurks within the boys stranded on the uninhabited island. As tensions rise and civilization fades, Jack’s failed attempt to kill a pig becomes a turning point, revealing the true savagery that resides within them.

Lord of the Flies Chapter 3 starts deep in the jungle, where Jack tracks a pig and hurls his spear at it. Once again, he misses. On his return to the beach, Jack is frustrated and angry at his failure to catch and kill a pig. Jack’s failure to kill a pig symbolizes his initial struggle with embracing his darker instincts. He is initially hesitant and uncertain about taking a life, but recognizes its necessity for survival. This internal conflict foreshadows Jack’s descent into savagery as he later succumbs to his primal desires.

In this chapter, Ralph, who has taken on the role of leader, is dismayed by his fellow boys’ lack of commitment to building shelters and maintaining order. Instead of helping with the shelters, the boys go for a swim and spend their days playing. Frustrated by their negligence, Ralph tells Jack, “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages” (Golding 42). Ralph’s complaint to Jack shows his desire for structure amidst chaos and his belief that they can retain their humanity.

Unfortunately, Jack is offended by Ralph’s complaint. Ralph complains that while all the other hunters returned hours ago, Jack is just now arriving. Flustered, Jack attempts to explain why he’s obsessed with killing a pig, but Jack tries to explain his obsession with killing a pig. Instead, Ralph and Jack argue about whether building shelters is as important as hunting pigs for meat.

Ralph points out that they need to build shelters because the boys are scared. Simon says that it seems that they’re on a bad island rather than the good island Ralph promised them in Chapter 2. Jack agrees and says that when he’s alone in the jungle searching for pigs, he feels that he’s the one being hunted. 

After helping the littluns gather fruit, Simon sneaks off to explore an unknown part of the island—a secret thicket he discovered earlier. His solitary venture into this secluded area signifies his unique connection with nature while also alluding to his spiritual and intuitive nature. As the novel describes, “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth… blackness within which you could glimpse a pair of eyes” (Golding 56). This encounter hints at both Simon’s ability to sense the danger of the beast and his profound understanding of the inherent evil that resides within each person.

What was Ralph doing in Chapter 3? (Building huts on the beach)

Ralph is occupied with building huts alongside Simon on the beach in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies. However, Ralph is frustrated because he realizes that only he and Simon are working on the huts, which are falling apart. Feeling overwhelmed and ignored by the other boys who are busy playing or hunting, Ralph vents his dissatisfaction to Jack, saying, “Nobody else will join in” (Golding 55). Ralph’s frustration stems from his understanding that survival and shelter are crucial for their long-term well-being on the island. He recognizes the necessity of unity and collaboration among the boys but feels dismayed by their lack of commitment to these essential tasks.

What does Ralph claim to have felt behind him in Chapter 3?

In Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies, Ralph claims to have felt a “presence” behind him. He describes it as a “beastie” or a “snake-thing” that comes out at night. This presence seems to be an embodiment of the boys’ growing fear and paranoia on the island. It represents their primal instincts and their inner darkness, which are gradually surfacing as they struggle to maintain order and civilization.

Ralph’s claim about this presence foreshadows the eventual emergence of evil on the island. It highlights his awareness of the dangers threatening their fragile society and his desire to confront and overcome them. However, this claim is also dismissed by some of the other boys, notably Jack, who sees it as a sign of weakness and tries to divert attention away from it. Nevertheless, Ralph’s acknowledgment of this presence shows his increasing understanding of the deteriorating situation on the island and sets up further conflict between him and Jack in subsequent chapters.

What is the conflict between Ralph and Jack in Chapter 3?

In Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies, the conflict between Ralph and Jack intensifies as they clash over the priorities and responsibilities on the island. Ralph, the elected leader, is focused on maintaining order, building shelters, and keeping the signal fire going so they can be rescued. However, Jack becomes increasingly obsessed with hunting and sees it as a more immediate way to assert his power and dominance. Jack’s obsession leads to a power struggle between them as Jack challenges Ralph’s authority by luring some of the boys away from their duties to join his hunting party. The conflict highlights their contrasting leadership styles and priorities, setting the stage for further tensions and division among the boys on the island.

What does Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies reveal about Simon’s personality?

Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies reveals Simon’s personality as kind, generous, and dedicated to the common good. Despite the other boys’ inclination to play instead of work, Simon chooses to help Ralph build the huts. This act demonstrates his helpfulness and discipline. Simon’s dedication to the common good is evident in his decision to prioritize the group’s needs over his personal desires. Through his actions in this chapter, Simon emerges as a compassionate and selfless character, willing to contribute for the benefit of others.

What did Simon do in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies?

In Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Simon assists Ralph in constructing huts on the island. Despite being described as “queer” and “funny” by Ralph, Simon proves to be a valuable member of the group. His small and thin stature, along with his dark hair and eyes, make him well-suited for helping the younger boys access food. Additionally, Simon has discovered a hidden spot beneath the forest’s vines where he can seek refuge, suggesting that he is resourceful and perhaps more perceptive than the others realize.


Chapter 3 serves as a pivotal moment in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies as it marks significant shifts in character dynamics and foreshadows future conflicts. It showcases Ralph’s growing frustration with maintaining order while highlighting Jack’s struggle with embracing violence. Moreover, Simon’s exploration of the secret thicket foreshadows his unique role as a spiritual guide within the narrative. As the boys’ primal instincts intensify, their descent into darkness becomes increasingly inevitable.

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