The huts on the beach are symbolic of the boys’ attempts to enforce civilization in an uncivilized land, and their utter failure to do so.
In this chapter, Ralph tries out his leadership skills by trying to get the boys to construct some huts that can provide shelter in the storms. Unfortunately, the boys are not focused enough or skilled enough for such a task. The boys have been working “for days” and have accomplished little.
Ralph explains what is going on to Jack.
Two shelters were in position, but shaky. This one was a ruin.
“And they keep running off. You remember the meeting? How everyone was going to work hard until the shelters were finished?” (ch 3)
Jack is not contributing to the hut building at the beginning of the chapter. He is in the woods hunting. This difference between Jack and Ralph’s approaches to solving the boys’ problems is a pattern.
Ralph and Jack also disagree on how to lead the group. Their dichotomy of shared leadership is breaking down. Ralph complains that all they do is talk and get nothing one. Ralph wants everyone to be more productive, and Jack feels hurt that he is not being given credit for his hunting efforts.
As early as this, there is foreshadowing of the boys' destruction. Simon goes off and meditates, Jack tries to hunt, and Ralph tries to keep everyone together. Everyone is pulling in different directions, and therefore not accomplishing anything.