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In chap 12, why did Ralph weep for Piggy, but never did the same for Simon? What is the...

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jimmy14 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2009 at 1:02 PM via web

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In chap 12, why did Ralph weep for Piggy, but never did the same for Simon? What is the difference between the officer's attitude, and Ralph's?

Consider the  last sentence in the book.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 8, 2009 at 7:39 PM (Answer #1)

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In chapter 12 of the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding, the officer who finds the stranded boys on the island is embarrassed to see their distress and loss of composure. The last sentence reads:

'He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.'

Sometimes traumatised people are numb with the shock of what has happened to them through cruelty or accident.Sometimes, their emotions don't turn back on again until someone shows kindness, or they realise their trauma is over. Then they often break down in tears, remembering all that has happened to them. Ralph cries for Piggy maybe because it is too late for him and he maybe feels guilty as he sees all Piggy's good sense coming true (the glasses,the fire,the beacon,the rescue.) It is also possible that in the sight of common sense and civilization and human decency in front of him in the form of the officer, that the man reminds him of Piggy. He probably feels bad for Simon too but the bond is not as deep.There is also a crticism of the officer as he rests his eyes on the cruiser - it maybe a recquisitioned vessel for use in war - the officer is playing war games too.

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hsato | eNotes Employee

Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:34 AM (Answer #2)

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