How does Golding depict a significant gap of time between Chapters 2 and 3 in "Lord of the Flies"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the ways Golding depicts the gap of time is by describing the difference in the boys, and in particular, Jack.  In Chapter 2, the boys had just arrived on the island, and still had the look of youngsters from a civilized, largely indoor environment.  In Chapter 3, Jack's sandy hair is "considerably longer than it had been...(and is) lighter now, and his bare back (is) a mass of dark freckles and peeling sunburn", indicating long hours of running wild, unprotected in the sun.  His clothes have also deteriorated, and he is naked "except for a pair of tattered shorts held up by his knife-belt". 

The author also depicts the passage of a significant gap of time by charting the progress made in the boys' plan to make the island more livable.  In Chapter 2, the boys had discussed the necessity of building shelters.  In Chapter 3, "two shelters (are) in position, but shaky...(and) one (is) a ruin".  Ralph complains about the difficulty of getting the majority of the boys, who would rather play, to work seriously on building the huts; they do not yet have anything serviceable, even though a small group of them have "been working for days now".  It is clear that although a good amount of time has passed, the boys have not progressed very much in setting up a functioning society (Chapter 3).

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Lord of the Flies

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