In chapter 12 of "Lord of the Flies", how does the author describe Ralph's flights across the island?

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

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Ralph must flee across the island because he is being pursued by Jack and the other boys.  They want to kill him because he is the last one left from the civilized group.  Ralph does not yet understand that the boys themselves were the beast on the island.  His lack of understanding helped to bring down the society on the island.  When he encounters the pig's skull, he still does not realize the true nature of what caused the boys on the island to devolve into savagery, but he does realize that, in order to survive, he will have to fight back.  He has become the savage that he tried so hard not to become, without realiziing it. As he flees, he tries to appeal to the grain of civility left in Samneric, still unaware that savagery has won out, even though he has to think and act like an animal fleeing death.  Earlier he loathed his unkempt state and now he uses that animal-like dirtiness to help him hide from the other boys.  As the boys close in on Ralph, and the island is burning, he suddenly falls to the beach at the feet of the British officer who has come to the island because the smoke was sighted.  Before he fell, though, his only thoughts were on basic survival at any cost.

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