In chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies, why does Ralph insist on building the huts, and what do they represent?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Ralph desires shelters for protection from the sun and the rain. The shelters are a form of civilization. Ralph desperately tries to create some form of civilization and order. Only Simon seems to be helping Ralph. Jack and the hunters are preoccupied with hunting meat. Ralph is becoming discouraged, but he and Simon continue to put together shaky shelters.

Ralph needs shelters to protect them from the harshness of nature. Also, he desires to help the littluns feel more protected, especially since they are so afraid of the beast. Ralph reminds Jack that the littluns scream in the middle of the night. The shelters will offer the littluns a sense of protection from their fear of the beast.

Ralph and Jack are divided in their ideas for survival. No matter how much Ralph preaches to Jack about a need for shelters, Jack is only concerned with the hunt:

By the end of this chapter, Jack and Ralph seem to be moving in different directions. Ralph struggles to retain what is civilized, as Jack slips further into savagery. It is Golding’s point that the latter is easier because it is what humans are attuned to.

Ralph will continue to build shelters and a fire to attract a ship for possble rescue. He will maintain some type of order while stranded on the island. He sees the need to create a civilized atmosphere.

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