In chapter 12 of Lord of The Flies, what does Ralph want to believe about the tribe and about himself?

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jjohnson112 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 12 of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, Ralph is hiding in the forest.  Ralph wants to believe that the enemy he sees is really not his tribe. 

He had even glimpsed one of them, striped brown, black, and red, and had judged that it was Bill.  But really, thought Ralph, this was not Bill.  This was a savage whose image refused to blend with that ancient picture of a boy in shorts and shirt.

He wants to believe that the tribe will let him go, although he knows they will not.

He argued unconvincingly that they would let him alone, perhaps even make an outlaw of him.  But then the fatal unreasoning knowledge came to him again.

He wants to believe that he can still be one of them, and that they will accept him back.

Might it not be possible to walk boldly into the fort, say -- "I've got pax," laugh lightly, and sleep among the others?  Pretend they were still boys, schoolboys...

But, despite what he wants to believe, he knows he is an outcast and that the tribe will not stop until he is dead.  

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Lord of the Flies

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