What is Jack preoccupied about in Chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies?  It's in Lord of the Flies.

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Ralph is working with most of the others making shelters down on the beach, Jack is up in the forest and down on his hands and knees. He is sniffing, smelling the ground for any scent of pigs or their droppings.

Jack has become obsessed with meat, with pigs, with killing. The idea of killing a pig has taken over Jack's mind and body, and it stands in sharp opposition to Ralph's plan for the need for huts, for protection. Here in chapter 3, aggression is pitted against cooperation for the sake of shelter. This exchange between Ralph and Jack shows the dichotomy, the opposing human needs on the island:

“I went on,” said Jack. “I let them go. I had to go on. I—”

He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up.

“I went on. I thought, by myself—”

The madness came into his eyes again.

“I thought I might—kill.”

“But you didn’t.”

“I thought I might.”

Some hidden passion vibrated in Ralph’s voice.

“But you haven’t yet.”

His invitation might have passed as casual, were it not for the undertone.

“You wouldn’t care to help with the shelters, I suppose?”

“We want meat—”

“And we don’t get it.”

Now the antagonism was audible.

“But I shall! Next time!

And soon Jack will kill and they will eat meat, and he will kill again.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack eventually gets to kill a pig, but here he is still obsessing about the thought of it. Whether he knows what that will be like before he actually manges to hunt down a pig would be an interesting idea for you to consider - he says they need food, but we already know there are coconuts on the island, and it probably wouldn't have been too difficult to construct a net or rods to catch a fish from the teeming oceans - so is it really more than a need for food:

'His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.'
  1. - was it the thirst for killing all along?How does this relate to our consumption of food in our society now - could we all be vegetarians really?
  2. Do we eat more than we need - including meat?
sackinthebutt | Student

my sack itches down there.....

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Lord of the Flies

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