Golding uses the boys' actions in the jungle to further characterize Simon and Jack.
Simon has a genuine reverence for nature. His appreciation for the green serenity of his quiet spot in the jungle reveals Simon as a gentle spirit, one who is insightful and can appreciate the beauty of nature.
Jack, on the other hand, demonstrates less respect for the beauty of nature and more of an interest in what he can get from it. On the boys' first outing to explore the island. When Simon admires the pretty green candle buds, Jack's response is to take out his knife and slash them, contemptuously replying "we can't eat them. Come on" (30). He does not take time to admire them, only classifies them as being useless because they cannot contribute to his general well-being. Jack's responses to the abundant nature on the island reveal him to be more self-centered than Simon, thinking only of how the island can benefit him personally.