Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Chapter 3

Huts on the Beach

The chapter begins many days, possibly weeks, after the fire on the mountain. Jack is hunting for pigs and has become good at tracking them, but has not killed one as yet. He comes back to the beach where Ralph and Simon are trying to build a hut. Two rickety huts have already been constructed and this last one is not turning out so well. Ralph complains to Jack how the kids don't help; they are bathing or eating fruit in the forest instead. This seems to be a trend with every project they try to accomplish -- a project is proposed at a meeting and they work hard for a little while, but never see it through to completion.

Jack and Ralph have a small argument about whether building huts is more important than hunting. This is the first of many disputes they will have. The subject of the beastie comes up again. Many of the littluns are frightened of it, which is why they are building huts. Jack comments that when he is alone hunting he feels he is, "not hunting, but being hunted... As though something is behind you all the time in the jungle."

Jack has a sudden insight as to where the pigs hide during the day. Ralph continues to badger him about the fact that keeping up the signal fire is more important than hunting, but Jack doesn't seem to think that way. The two boys are beginning to dislike each other. They go to the bathing pool, where, "...the shouting and splashing and laughing were only just sufficient to bring them together again."

Simon wanders into the jungle, helps the littluns pick fruit, and then wanders off further, finding a clearing. There is a thick mat of creepers that grow here. He climbs under them where it is cool and dark and stays there until night fall.