In chapter 10 of Lord of the Flies, Ralph and Piggy deny being part of the dance, but Golding gives clues that the boys might have been involved. What are those clues?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Nine of Lord of the Flies, Ralph and Jack vie for the attention of the boys, but Ralph is told by Jack that the conch does not count on "this end of the island."  Ralph turns away, defeated; Piggy warns him, "There's going to be trouble." Then, Jack leaps onto the sand, shouting for the boys to begin their ritualized dance. As the dance continues, the frenzy of the boys becomes intense and "a thing was crawling ou of the forest." This is Simon, but the hunters continue to beat their sticks on him and kill him.

In Chapter Ten, with the daylight comes the recognition of what has occurred. As he climbs onto the platform and sits in the grass facing the chief's seat, a shivering Ralph tells Piggy, "That was murder." Piggy's voice is shrill as he scolds Ralph for talking in this manner:

"It was dark.  There was that --that bloody dance.  There was lightning and thunder and rain.  We was scared!"

"I wasn't scared," said Ralph slowly, "I was--I don't know what I was."

But, Piggy insists on his rationalization, contending that they were frightened and anything might have happened. "It wasn't--what you said."  With a "low and stricken" voice, Ralph clearly is aware of Piggy's denial of the truth.  He coaxes Piggy, "Don't you understand, Piggy?" Still, Piggy is in denial as he suggests that Simon may yet be alive, or he may have merely be pretending to be hurt and die. Rocking back and forth in agony, Ralph questions Piggy, "Didn't you see...?"

Piggy cannot accept the evil with which he is faced and continues his denial, shrilly shouting that it was an accident. Then he turns his agony to fury, saying that Simon should not have crawled out of the dark as he did. "He was batty. He asked for it."

When they see Samneric approaching, Piggy advises Ralph to pretend to them that they were not at the dance. Since they were on the outside ring, they can say that they never saw anything. Ralph agrees, but shudders at Piggy's touch.

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Lord of the Flies

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