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How does Golding establish Jack, Ralph and Simon as separate characters in chapter 3?

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Introduction

How does Golding establish Jack, Ralph and Simon as separate characters in chapter 3? Chapter 3, while being comparatively short, is extremely significant in character development in the book. The chapter serves almost as a triptych as Golding examines the individual components of each of the initial three characters: Jack, Ralph and Simon. Sigmund Freud's model of the human psyche - the id, the ego and the superego - can be applied to the three characters. Jack, the 'id', only thinks about satisfying his appetite, much like a primitive animal. Ralph, the 'ego', follows much more rational thinking and makes sensible decisions and performs practical actions. Simon on some levels fits the 'superego' as he operates on a higher level of consciousness and is very spiritual and religious. ...read more.

Middle

However when Jack tries to explain to Ralph the "compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up", "the madness came into his eyes again" and he insists that he might "kill". It is significant that Golding to use the word "kill" as opposed to just "hunt" as it suggests Jack is only doing it for the "kill" and the triumph he would get rather than for the practical outcome of having something to eat, showing Jack is now completely savage, only interested in murder. After Jack returns to the beach, we see Ralph attempting to build shelters, aided by Simon. Ralph knows that shelters are required in the long term and that no one else will build them, "we need shelters". ...read more.

Conclusion

The focus of the book then switches to Simon who after helping Ralph with the shelters, decides to go to a clearing in the forest on his own. Simon goes into an almost meditative state, sitting alone, enclosed in a wall of bushes, cut off from everyone else on the island. Golding has Simon enter this 'ashram' just as the sun is setting, which is usually when bad things happen, however this is compensated by having the candle buds open at the same time. Golding also mentions that the stars in the sky give light and cause the flowers to "glimmer". The white flowers of the candle bushes not only provide light onto Simon but also fill the clearing with the scent which the characters first experienced when Jack "slashed" them open, making this a magical end to the chapter. ?? ?? ?? ?? Thomas Aird ...read more.

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