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One of the things that Piggy fears is being blinded. If you look at his reaction to the theft of his glasses and his incredibly childish and overblown fear while they travel to and confront the boys at the "fort," you see that he has a deep seated fear of losing his ability to see. Even when the boys first grab his specs in order to light the fire you see the incredible terror induced in him when he is without his glasses.
Ralph fears that he is too weak to really be a leader. Even at the outset when it appears that he has been elected chief, he is afraid to take the lead and to make decisions and act on the feelings he has.
Ralph attempts to use reason to dispel the littluns' fears. But Ralph is "facing something ungraspable," and he can only react in frustration with a blanket denial: "But I tell you there isn't a beast!" To the littluns, this assertion is utterly inadequate. Their fears are not rational. Ralph somehow understands this, but can't quite articulare it; nor can he find words to allay the children's terror.
This is symbolic of the novel's ongoing conflict between the rational and the irrational, between the cerebral and the instinctual.
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