What literary devices are used and where in chapter three of Lord of the Flies? 

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 3 is full of a variety of literary devices including similes, a metaphor, imagery, verbal irony, foreshadowing, allusion and a foil. Golding uses several similes to describe Jack as he tries to track a wild pig. He is "like a sprinter," and he stared at the signs left by the pig "as though he would force them to speak to him." He is described at one point as "dog-like" and later as "ape-like." Imagery is used in the first part of the chapter to describe Jack's experience in the forest and at the end to describe Simon's. Sound imagery includes the following: "whine of insects," "silence shattered and echoes set ringing by a harsh cry," "hiss of indrawn breath," and "the quick, hard patter of hoofs, a castanet sound." Visual imagery is apparent when describing the pig droppings: "They were olive green, smooth, and they steamed a little." The chapter ends with visual and olfactory imagery when the moonflowers are described. 

An interesting metaphor describes how Ralph and Jack have different perspectives: "They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate." Verbal irony occurs when Ralph says, "Meetings. Don't we love meetings?" The contrasting descriptions of Simon are also ironic, coming so close together: "he helps," "Simon's always about," "he's buzzed off," and "he's queer. He's funny." 

Jack's expression of the "feeling [of] ... being hunted" foreshadows the dark times ahead for the boys and the last chapter when Jack hunts Ralph. In addition, when Ralph warns Jack, "So long as your hunters remember the fire," it foreshadows Jack's letting the fire go out in the next chapter. 

Golding is setting up Simon to be a Christ-figure, and he builds an allusion to Jesus into this chapter to help plant that idea. When Simon goes into the forest, littluns follow him, and he ends up picking fruit for them. The description of Simon passing out food to "the endless, outstretched hands" is an allusion to the miracle of feeding the five thousand.

Finally, Golding sets up Simon as a foil to Jack. Just as the beginning of the chapter is rich in description of Jack's lone activity in the forest, so the end of the chapter contains vivid imagery surrounding Simon in his "little cabin." Jack is described as frustrated and "nearly mad" in his pursuit of the pig. In contrast, Simon sees butterflies and hears peaceful bees buzzing and the sound of the ocean. Simon's serenity as he connects with his environment presents a stark contrast to Jack's adversarial relationship with nature. 

In this chapter, Golding is deepening readers' understanding of setting, character, and plot, and his use of literary devices helps him in achieving that end.

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Lord of the Flies

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