In chapter 2, how do Ralph and Jack answer the question about the beast?

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At this point in the story, Ralph and Jack are still fairly committed to working together, establishing some kind of governance, and taking care of the community of boys. Their response to the rumor of a snake-like "beastie" is completely understandable. Ralph begins by essentially trying to explain and reason...

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At this point in the story, Ralph and Jack are still fairly committed to working together, establishing some kind of governance, and taking care of the community of boys. Their response to the rumor of a snake-like "beastie" is completely understandable. Ralph begins by essentially trying to explain and reason it out of existence.

"You couldn't have a beastie, a snake-thing, on an island this size," Ralph explained kindly. "You only get them in big countries, like Africa or India."

The little boy insists that he saw something, but it was dark. Ralph's response is to say that the darkness must have been playing tricks on his eyes. Ralph even gets to the point of saying that the boy likely dreamed it.

All of Ralph's responses make sense. He is staying calm and trying to find a reason why the beast doesn't exist; however, the logical responses fall on deaf ears. The emotional fears of the boys far outweigh Ralph's logic. He eventually ends up repeatedly yelling that there is not a beast:

But there isn't a beastie!

Jack comes to Ralph's aid and supports the initial statement that there is no beast; however, he has to add in something of his own. Jack says that there is no beast, but he makes it clear that if there is a beast, he'll hunt it and kill it.

Ralph's right of course. There isn't a snake-thing. But if there was a snake we'd hunt it and kill it. We're going to hunt pigs to get meat for everybody. And we'll look for the snake too—

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During their first meeting, a littlun begins to cry and says he saw a beastie thing that he thought wanted to eat him. He thought it was a huge snake. Ralph at first tries to reason saying there would be no way for a large snake to be on an island - they only exist in Africa and India. Then, as others continue talking about the beast, Ralph just begins screaming over and over, louder and louder, "there is no beast!" Jack on the other hand, tries to agree with Ralph saying their is no giant beast-snake, but he adds 'if there is we will hunt it'. This is the beginning of Jack's obsession with hunting live things.

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Jack tells him that he will find the beast and kill him. Ralph tells him there is no beast to worry about. He tries to reassure him, and to focus on getting rescued and having a bit of fun.

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