Lord of the Flies: The Novel Study

Chapter Three: Huts on the Beach


Jack’s preoccupation with tracking pigs has seemingly caused him to forgot about being rescued. Ralph is frustrated by the lack of help he has received for building huts. While Jack and Ralph discuss fears about the beast, Simon retreats into the jungle to take in the surroundings.

1. Simon suggests that the littluns cry at night “As if this wasn’t a good island.” Ralph finds this belief problematic:
“As if this wasn’t a good island,” said Ralph slowly, “Yes, that’s right.”
Jack sat up and stretched out his legs.
“They’re batty.”
“Crackers. Remember when we went exploring?” (p. 57)
a) Is it a “good island”? What are its attributes and drawbacks?
b) Even if a state is “good”, can it be improved?
c) Are citizens who critically question the state contributing to its further development? Or are they disloyal?

2. The littluns’ fear of the beast is causing them to have nightmares. Jack claims that “I know how they feel” (p. 58), telling Ralph he feels watched while in the forest.
a) Do you think Jack’s fear of the beast is rational?
b) Is it important that leaders are able to relate to the hopes and fears of citizens?
c) Are there risks if those fears are not grounded in facts?

3. Ralph’s desires to build shelters and a signal fire are contrasted with Jack’s desire to hunt pigs. Their differences are described as “two continents of experience and feeling unable to communicate.” (p. 60)
a) What do you think is more important? Building huts or hunting pigs?
b) Can you think of a way the two could reach a compromise? Or do you believe one of their desires is too important to be compromised?

Freedom, Responsibility, and Law