How are specific fears presented in chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After the disappearance of the little'un with the strawberry mark on his face, fear begins to burgeon in the minds of the boys who find themselves outside the protective parameters of established society. Whereas the older boys occupy themselves with building shelters or hunting, the smaller ones find that their idle time allows their imaginations to take hold of them. They dream, Ralph remarks, because they are frightened. 

"They talk and scream.  The littluns.  Even some of the others.

 Further, Ralph understands that with shelters there will be a sort of "home," a vestige of civilization to counter the superstitious fears.

"We need shelters as a sort of--"


"That's right."

It is Simon who broaches the subject of the beastie or "snake-thing."  He says the small boys believe it is real. Even Jack is unnerved, saying that although he knows there is really nothing to fear of some "beastie," he relates that at times he gets a "feeling," a sense that he is the hunted object, not the hunter: "As if something is behind you all the time in the jungle."

Of course, there is a "rub of feeling" among the boys as Ralph and Jack argue about building a rescue fire and about their duties. Simon slips away and finds a secret spot in which he can both hide from his fears and rest. 

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Lord of the Flies

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