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In chapter 12 why does Ralph weep for Piggy, but not for Simon? What is the difference...

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janum | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 7, 2009 at 9:41 AM via web

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In chapter 12 why does Ralph weep for Piggy, but not for Simon? What is the difference between the officer's language and attitude and Ralph's?

Consider the effect of the last sentence in the book

 

 

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 7, 2009 at 8:04 PM (Answer #1)

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I think a very strong argument could be made that Ralph does indeed cry for Simon as well as for Piggy.  The sentence reads, "...Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."  Simon was innocent - in everything he did.  He never had a mean motive, he never sought to do anything but help others, and he was the one who died trying to tell the boys that the beast was actually a dead person.  Piggy was the one boy who was closest to Ralph.  He and Ralph found each other at the beginning of the story before either one found any of the other boys so their friendship was bonded early.  The last paragraph and sentence of the story indicate that the officer did not understand what had transpired on the island.  He assumed that, since the ones inhabiting the island were only school boys, that nothing more serious than a game could ensue.  The officer did not grasp that these were no longer innocent boys with the same thoughts and experiences as most boys their age.  Ralph knows that this officer and all the other adults they will encounter, will not understand the amount of change that occurred in these boys and no one will understand that they are no longer boys, but they are essentially old men with dark pasts.

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