In Lord of the Flies, what is Jack doing at the beginning of chapter 3?

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durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Lord of The Flies, Ralph, the boy with "the trumpet thing," is voted as the leader, despite Jack believing that the position of chief should go to him as he is, after all, "chapter chorister and head boy." Ralph can see Jack's consternation and suggests that Jack is still in charge of the choir and they can be the "army...or hunters." Jack settles on the choir being hunters and he and Ralph, with Simon, set off to explore what appears to be an island. 

Having established that it is indeed an uninhabited island and with the conch representing the call to order, the boys have a meeting to decide on priorities. Jack is eager to hunt and, as there are pigs on the island, they can hunt them and Jack suggests that he will also hunt the, as yet, unidentified "beastie" or snake-like thing that has scared one of the boys.

At the beginning of chapter 3, Jack is in his element, as he is stalking or "hunting," moving about "dog-like" with a stick, sharpened to enable him to kill a pig and provide meat for the boys. He is quietly and, almost, slyly, creeping close to the ground, identifying the trail where he knows the pigs have been but unfortunately, when he does find a pig, his sharpened stick- or spear - misses it and he returns to the others, defeated.

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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At the beginning of Chapter 3, Jack is bent towards the ground studying cracked twigs and faint hoof prints in the dirt. He is attempting to track wild pigs on the island and gets on all fours in order to inspect the earth closely. Golding portrays Jack as intensely focused as he examines the surrounding area for clues that will lead him in the right direction towards the pigs. The island is quiet as Jack tracks the pigs until he accidentally rouses a bird in the forest in the middle of his search. However, Jack is careful to inspect the bark on trees and the ways that plants lean in order to find the pigs. Eventually, Jack spots fresh dung and knows that he is close to finding them. Suddenly, he hears the sound of hoofs beating nearby and misses his opportunity to kill a pig as he hurls his spear in their direction. 

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