Lord of the Flies

What signs of stress and fear can we see in Ralph, Piggy, and Samnerics behavior in this chapter?

Chapter 10: The Shell and the Glasses

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As the chaos surrounding Simon's death calms down, Golding focuses on the horror Piggy and Ralph feel about their involvement in the murder. The two boys attempt to justify their role in Simon's death with the ideas that they did not know that it was Simon until it was too late, they were not among the inner circle of boys beating him to death, and they operated on instinct rather than on malice. Still, the involvement of Piggy and Ralph makes clear that even these two, the paragons of rationality and maturity among the children on the island, are susceptible to the same forces that motivate Jack and his hunters. Golding obscures the once-clear dichotomy between the "good" Ralph and the "evil" Jack, demonstrating that the compulsion towards violence and destruction is present inside all individuals.

Golding does present one major qualification that distinguishes Ralph and Piggy from Jack. Ralph and Piggy still possess a moral sensibility. They realize that their actions are wrong and accordingly struggle to find some justification for their parts in the murder. They are ashamed of the murder, unlike the other boys, who show no qualms about what they have done.

Piggy also asks Ralph not to reveal to Samneric that they were involved in Simon's death. Ralph and Piggy reveal that almost all the other boys have abandoned them for Jack's tribe save Samneric and some other littluns. Samneric return to the beach, where they present Ralph and Piggy with a log they have dragged out of the forest. They immediately take off to go swimming. Ralph stops the twins with the intention of informing them that he and Piggy did not participate in Simon's murder. All four appear nervous as they discuss where they were the previous night, trying to avoid the subject of Simon's murder. All insist that they left early, right after the feast.