Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies, Jack yells "Got it!" What does Ralph think might have caused Jack's excitement?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,181 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In chapter three, Ralph and Simon are struggling by themselves to finish building the huts on the beach when Jack arrives after another unsuccessful hunt. While Ralph complains about the other boys not helping and playing by the pool, Jack is focused on how to become a more efficient hunter. Ralph then begins to emphasize the importance of maintaining a signal fire and being rescued, while Jack continues to think about various ways to successfully kill the pigs on the island. The two boys have completely different principles and goals.

While Ralph is contemplating a way to improve their chances of being rescued, Jack suddenly yells, "Got it!" (Golding, 74). Ralph immediately thinks that Jack has spotted a passing ship and asks, "What? Where? Is it a ship?" (Golding, 74). Jack responds by pointing towards the high declivities in the mountain and comments that he believes the pigs rest in that area during day. Ralph is upset that Jack has completely ignored his comments regarding the signal fire and being rescued. He proceeds to tell Jack,

"I thought you saw a ship! . . . I was talking about smoke! Don’t you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!" (Golding, 75).

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write7,077 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

By Chapter 3 in Lord of the Flies, Jack has already become single-mindedly addicted to hunting the wild pigs on the island. While Ralph is trying to stress the importance of keeping the signal fire going in the hope that a plane or ship will see the smoke, Jack can barely "remember what rescue was." Both Ralph and Jack were looking skyward, but for very different reasons. While Ralph was looking to see how far the smoke could be seen, Jack was eyeing the shady, downward slope of the mountain. As always, he was thinking of pigs. When he cried out, "Got it!" it was because he had just come to the realization that the shade was where the pigs could be found.

"Of course! They'll lie up there--they must, when the sun's too hot--"

Ralph, thinking of rescue first, hoped that Jack's cry was because

"I thought you saw a ship!"

check Approved by eNotes Editorial