Up to chapter 4 of "Lord of the Flies", what are the different attitudes of Jack, Ralph, and Simon to life on the island?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The attitudes of these three characters are representative of their symbolic purpose in the novel.  Jack represents human savagery, Ralph is human intellect, and Simon is human emotion/spirituality.  As such, they all view the island differently:

For Jack, the island is a place of adventure that will give an opportunity to hunt - to be active and violent.  He does not take any of the attempts at civilization seriously.  He doesn't respect the rules set forth by Piggy and Ralph or help in any of the attempts to create "community", such as in building the shelters or tending to the fire. 

For Ralph, the island is a challenge to be overcome.  Ralph is the first to reassure the other boys that the island can provide them with the necessities to survive.  He insists on the importance of the fire to signal ships.  He is the one to insist on proper procedures and shelters.  He is, finally, the one who continues to talk about rescue, showing that he is eager to leave the island.

For Simon, the island is a place of beauty.  The poet of the group, Simon appreciates the "life" of the island and how it thrives without humans.  Here are Simon's thoughts:

Now the sunlight had lifted clear of the open space and withdrawn from the sky. ...The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers glimmering under the light that pricked down from the first stars. Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.

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Lord of the Flies

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