Why does Simon ask “What else is there to do?” in Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies?

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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After Jack's bid to take over Ralph's position as chief fails, Jack leaves the group and invites others to join him.  Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are wondering what to do next.  Simon stands up, takes the conch, and suggests that they climb the mountain in search of the beast that Ralph and Jack say they spotted.  The others at the assembly are too afraid of the beast to want to explore the mountain.  Piggy wonders what good would it do to climb the mountain to see the beast when even Jack and Ralph were defenseless against it.  Simon insists that there is nothing else to be done: "What else is there to do?"  They should go look for the beast that terrified Ralph and Jack on their expedition.

Simon, of course, is right.  The boys need to confront their fears. On the expedition, Ralph and Jack were so afraid of the idea of a beastie that they did not investigate what they thought was a beast. Instead they panicked and ran.  If they had looked closely, they would have known that the beast was harmless--a dead body attached to a parachute, not some man-eating monster that could destroy them.  As long as the boys do not confront their fears, the more easily they are controlled by Jack, the less civilized they become, the more violent they become.  As usual, though, the boys--even Ralph and Piggy--do not listen to Simon, and instead turn their attention to creating a rescue fire.

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