In chapter three of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, what two groups with differing goals are emerging? 

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By chapter three of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the boys have begun to align themselves with one of two groups: Ralph's group or Jack's group.

Ralph is concerned about getting rescued and making their life on the island bearable until that happens. He has established a plan to keep a signal fire going, he has built three shelters, and he tries to do things properly. Unfortunately, his group is comprised primarily of the littluns, and they are not particularly interested in helping Ralph achieve any of these goals. Nevertheless, they continue to stay with Ralph, Piggy, and Simon on the beach. 

Jack's group is the hunters, and they are not interested in keeping the fires going, as they promised to do. Instead they hunt. That is what they do. Jack is obsessed with hunting, something the other hunters are not, at least yet, and he is angry about anything that distracts him from his goal. Soon the hunters will move to the mountain.

Jack justifies his not helping Ralph with the shelters by saying, “We want meat.” Ralph expresses his frustration that no one is helping him build shelters by saying, “Well, we haven’t got any yet. And we want shelters." There it is. Jack and his hunters want to hunt and get meat; Ralph and his group want shelters so they have a place that feels like "home" to help ward off the bad dreams everyone is having. 

It is clear that neither the leaders nor their followers understand the other or is willing to compromise their goals. In fact, they each of them only grow more determined to pursue their individual goals. Golding describes the two leaders this way:

They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate.

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Lord of the Flies

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